Researchers studied 12,395 European teenagers ages 14-16 to identify which risky behaviors were linked to depression, anxiety, conduct problems, and self-destructive behaviors. Risky behaviors included excessive alcohol use, illegal drug use, inadequate sleep, sedentary behavior, and excessive time spent watching TV, on the computer, or playing video games. The researchers identified three risk groups. The high risk group accounted for 13% of adolescents. They were likely to engage in all the risk behaviors previously mentioned and were most at risk for mental illness. The low-risk group accounted for 58% of adolescents. They engage in one or no risky behaviors and were at the lowest risk for mental illness. Researchers named the third group the invisible risk group. They had the same risk for mental illness as the high risk group but only participated in unobtrusive risky behaviors such as inadequate sleep, excessive media use, and sedentary behavior. The authors of the study conclude, “While discussions with adolescents often focus on substance abuse and delinquency, the risk behaviors indentured here need to be considered, and special attention given to encouraging sufficient sleep, participation in sports, and using new media moderately.”
World Psychiatry, February 2013
Using data from a 2005-2006 United States government survey on nearly 2,600 adults, researcher Dr. Edward Archer at the Nutrition Obesity Research Center at the University of Alabama at Birmingham calculated that the average obese women gets just one hour of vigorous exercise per year while the average obese man manages only 3.6 hours per year.
Mayo Clinic Proceedings, December 2013
A study of 2,258 10-year olds in the United Kingdom found that children with a genetic propensity towards obesity also had lower satiety responsiveness. This finding could be used to identify children who may be at risk for being overweight or obese and teach them techniques to feel fuller while eating such as controlling portion sizes, eating slower, keeping treats out of sight, and avoiding second helpings.
JAMA Pediatrics, February 2014
Researchers have identified gardening as a great exercise for kids. This study involved 17 children who engaged in ten gardening tasks: digging, raking, weeding, mulching, hoeing, sowing seeds, harvesting, watering, mixing growing medium, and planting transplants. The results showed that tasks such as digging and raking were high-intensity activities while the remaining activities were considered moderate-intensity physical activities. The researchers claim the study results could facilitate the development of garden-based exercise interventions for children to promote health and a physically active lifestyle.
HortTechnology, October 2013
A study of 225 severe migraine sufferers found that during the previous two years, nearly the same percentage sought treatment from a Doctor of Chiropractic (27.1%) as sought out pharmacological treatment from their General Practitioner (27.6%).
Headache, February 2014
Prescription drug abuse kills more people in the United States each year than cocaine and heroine combined. A six-year study on the efficacy of programs designed to curb teenage prescription drug abuse finds that school-based programs are largely ineffective unless they are coupled with home-based interventions. Still, even the best programs only decrease abuse rates by 10% suggesting that parents, educators, communities, and local governments need to work together to find better interventions to stop teenaged prescription drug abuse.
Preventive Medicine, February 2014