Tuesday, September 27th, 2011
Researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have found that more than 65 percent of American teenagers do not get enough sleep each night (“enough” sleep is defined as 8 hours or more). In a new study published online in the journal Preventative Medicine, the chronic lack of sleep is linked with a list of behaviors that are risky to teens’ health. Specifically, teens who didn’t get enough sleep:
- Drank soda or pop 1 or more times per day (not including diet soda or diet pop)
- Did not participate in 60 minutes of physical activity on 5 or more of the past 7 days
- Used computers 3 or more hours each day
- Had been in a physical fight 1 or more times
- Practiced current cigarette use
- Practiced current alcohol use
- Practiced current marijuana use
- Practiced currently sexually active
- Felt sad or hopeless
- Seriously considered attempting suicide
“Public health intervention is greatly needed, and the consideration of delayed school start times may hold promise as one effective step in a comprehensive approach to address this problem,” said Lela McKnight-Eily of the CDC’s Division of Adult and Community Health in a statement.
(image via: http://topnews.net.nz/)
Friday, September 23rd, 2011
A new study from the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University finds that teenagers who eat fewer than three dinners with their family each week are four times more likely to smoke cigarettes, and more than twice as likely to use alcohol or marijuana compared with teens who have five to seven family dinners each week. Teens who have fewer family dinners are also nearly four times as likely to say they expect to try drugs in the future, The Boston Globe reports.
From The Globe:
“It’s not the food at the table but the parent engagement that takes place during dinner when parents ask how a kid’s day was,” said Kathleen Ferrigno, director of marketing for the center. That daily conversational experience paves the way for communication when problems arise like pressure from a friend to smoke or drink.
The survey didn’t look at whether other factors — like a parent’s income, divorce, religious practices, or education level — could have contributed to a teen’s propensity to use drugs or alcohol even more than, say, family dinners. For example, teens whose parents are divorced may be more likely to use alcohol and also less likely to have family dinners every night.
That aside, nightly dinners together can certainly provide psychological benefits to everyone in the family. “We also found in our survey that teens who have frequent family dinners are more likely to report having an excellent relationship with their parents and siblings,” said Ferrigno.
(image via: http://www.keyvive.com/)