By On January 25th, 2006

Bad Health Habits Start Young

First, from a recent Medpage Today article:

Bad health habits that can shorten lives start young, researchers here reported.

“As adolescents become young adults, they are more likely to eat fast food, get no exercise, be obese, and smoke cigarettes,” according to Kathleen Harris, Ph.D., of the University of North Carolina.

Those behaviors are related to three leading causes of death – tobacco use, poor diet and physical inactivity, and alcohol consumption – Dr. Harris and colleagues reported in the January issue of Archives of Pediatric & Adolescent Medicine.

Disturbing news all by itself. Fortunately, there’s a small bit of counteractive measures being put in place, according to the BBC. For the first time, soft drinkcompanies in Europe are going to stop targetting kids under 12, and it’s already starting to have a positive effect:

“This is the first time ever that the major beverage producers in Europe come together to jointly define their commitments related to responsible sales and marketing practices, especially to children and schools,” he explained.

As part of the proposals, Unesda members have undertaken to not to put “any marketing communication in printed media, websites or during broadcast programmes specifically aimed at children under the age of 12”.

It also will “avoid any direct appeal to children under the age of 12 to persuade parents or other adults to buy beverages for them”.

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