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Teens stressed out to the max

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According to an article in USA Today dated February 11, 2014, Teens are feeling the stress – and many don’t manage it well. Now US teens feel high levels of stress that they say negatively affects every aspect of their lives, a new national survey suggests. The article states “Stressors range from school to friends, work and family. And teens aren’t always using healthy methods to cope, finds the latest Stress in America survey from the American Psychological Association, based in Washington, D.C.”

This is the first time the survey has actually focused on teens; while some research has looked at depression and other mental health concerns, officials say this may be the most inclusive national survey of stress in teens to date.

What’s happening is that teens are now setting themselves up for a future of chronic stress and chronic illness. The study “gives us a window into how early these patterns might begin,” says clinical psychologist Norman Anderson, the group’s CEO. He cites stress-related behaviors such as a lack of sleep, lack of exercise and poor eating habits.

Did you know that only about 37% of teen’s surveyed exercise or walk to manage stress? Only 28% play sports. Could this be why we see numerous vacant basketball courts? Where are the teens at? The statistics state that 46% are playing video games and 43% are going online. Type 2 diabetes is already epidemic in children and now we have teens that are headed for an increase in chronic illness. When a teens lifestyle includes stress-related behaviors such as lack of sleep, lack of exercise and poor eating habits they do increase their risk of Type 2 diabetes.

According to the article, some experts question whether stress is merely a convenient excuse for teen behaviors. Michael Bradley, a psychologist in Feasterville, Pa, states “I think they get stressed because somebody puts a demand on them and they don’t want to do it.”
Here in Hawaii, we’re still seeing a decrease in teens exercising. If this generation is going to stay healthy and prevent Type 2 diabetes; they’re going to have to make some serious lifestyle changes immediately.

Source: USA Today (Health) Sharon Jayson

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