A cross-sectional examination of modifiable risk factors for chronic disease among a nationally representative sample of youth: are Canadian students graduating high school with a failing grade for health?
Substance use and weight gain among youth increase the risk for future disease. As such, the purpose of this study is to examine how many Canadian youth are currently failing to meet substance use and weight gain related public health guidelines.
Data from the 2010-11 Youth Smoking Survey were used to examine grade 9 to 12 students meeting seven different guidelines by sex and by grade.
Among Canadian youth, 8.8% were current smokers, 18.8% were current marijuana users, 25.5% were current binge drinkers, 22.5% were considered overweight or obese, 31.2% did not meet physical activity guidelines, 89.4% exceeded sedentary behaviour guidelines, and 93.6% reported inadequate fruit and vegetable intake. The mean number of risk factors per student was 2.9 (±1.2); only 0.5% of youth reported having none of the risk factors.
Students rarely met all seven public health guideline examined, and the vast majority of actually reported having two or more modifiable risk factors for disease.
Childhood abuse and other early-life stressors associate with being overweight or obese later in life. In addition to being overweight, unhealthy weight control behaviors (e.g., vomiting, using diet pills, fasting, and skipping meals) have been shown to be common among adolescents. To our knowledge, the association between these behaviors and adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) remains unexamined.
We examined the association of ACEs to body mass index (BMI) and unhealthy weight control behaviors among 449 Finnish adolescents aged 12 to 17years admitted to an acute psychiatric hospital unit between April 2001 and March 2006. We used the Schedule for Affective Disorders and Schizophrenia for School-Age Children Present and Lifetime (K-SADS-PL) and the European Addiction Severity Index (EuropASI) to obtain information about ACEs, psychiatric diagnoses and weight control behaviors. BMI was calculated using the weight and height measured for each adolescent upon admission.
Girls who experienced sexual abuse were more likely to be obese (OR: 2.6; 95% CI: 1.1-6.4) and demonstrate extreme weight loss behaviors (EWLB) (OR: 2.2; 95% CI: 1.0-4.7). Among girls, parental unemployment is associated with an increased likelihood of obesity (OR: 3.5; 95% CI: 1.2-9.6) and of being underweight (OR: 3.6; 95% CI: 1.1-11.6). A proneness for excessively exercising was found among girls who had witnessed domestic violence (OR: 3.5; 95% CI: 1.4-9.2) and whose parent(s) had died (OR: 5.4; 95% CI: 1.1-27.7).
This study showed that female adolescents with a history of traumatic experiences or difficult family circumstances exhibited an elevated likelihood of being obese and engaging in unhealthy weight control behaviors.
To provide a systematic review of physical activity intervention research conducted with adolescent girls (12-19 years of age and/or in middle or high school) in the United States and Canada during the past two decades.
Published articles in English were identified in searches using MEDLINE, Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature, PsycLIT, EMBASE, Science Citation Index, and the Cochrane Controlled Trials Register, with the keywords adolescent health, obesity, physical activity, and exercise, between the dates of May 1980 and November 2003.
Research studies with interventions that started within the adolescent time period. Only 7 studies met the inclusion criteria.
The publication year, sample description, study design, interventions used, and outcomes were extracted from each study.
The 7 studies were published between 1989 and 2003, included girls and boys in the overall sample (no studies with girl-only samples), used randomized controlled trial or quasi-experimental designs, and included multicomponent interventions. Body mass index, fitness levels, exercise, and weight were measured as outcomes.
Although the results were not consistent across studies, they suggest that school-based, multicomponent interventions that were also designed to decrease sedentary behavior were effective in increasing physical activity in adolescent girls. Future research should focus on determinants of long-term adherence and the duration and intensity of interventions necessary to prevent obesity in adolescent girls.
Professional caregivers have an important task in building a trusting relationship with parents and adolescents and in supporting parents in their parental roles. Our clinical experience of some 300 adolescents with obesity between 9 and 18 years of age and their parents has convinced us that consideration of parenting styles is fundamental in the treatment of children and adolescents with obesity. Typical case situations supporting the significance of parenting styles and illustrating the relationships between parents and adolescents with obesity can be identified. Group sessions with parents are the preferred mode for discussing typical parenting issues in the management of obese adolescents. The purpose of this paper is to describe different parenting styles, and to present a set of typical case situations and treatment strategies for nurses working with adolescents with obesity.
Research has yet to examine how physical activity, body mass index (BMI) and concerns about weight among youth populations are associated with susceptibility to smoking among never smokers. The Physical Activity Module of the School Health Action, Planning and Evaluation System (SHAPES) was completed by 25,060 students in grades 9 to 12 within 76 secondary schools in Ontario (Canada) to examine how being overweight, weight concerns, and physical activity are associated with susceptibility to smoking in a large sample of youth. Among the 14,795 students who were never smokers, 3,809 (25.8%) were classified as susceptible to future smoking and 10,986 (74.2%) were classified as non-susceptible to future smoking. Smoking susceptibility was negatively associated with being highly active or at risk of overweight and positively associated with perceptions of being slightly overweight or slightly underweight. Students who report 1 or more hours of screen or phone time per day were also more likely to be susceptible. This is the first study to identify that susceptibility to future smoking among never smokers is associated with physical activity, overweight and concerns about weight. This is valuable new insight for tailoring and targeting future school-based tobacco control and/or physical activity programming to youth populations.