Your teenager is overweight, you know those extra pounds are costing a lot more than just a bad self-image.
You’re worried about a diagnosis of diabetes or a heart attack at the ripe old age of forty two, so you nag and cajole, hoping that the “DO SOMETHING ABOUT YOUR WEIGHT” message, before it’s too late, finally gets through.
But that “YOU’RE GOING TO DIE YOUNG” message, might be backfiring on you…..
Who wants to liver forever ?
Researchers from Northeastern University, in Boston checked in with the longevity aspirations of 19 000 adolescents.
The study kicked off in 1994-1995, at the time, the team interviewed the high school kids, grades 7 to 12, to ascertain how many of them expected to live beyond the age of 35.
Awash with positivity, as only teens can be, 1 in 7 of the them did not expect to a make it to 35. Yes, they were giving themselves short odds on making 35, not 85.
And let’s be honest, relatively speaking the world in early 90s was a whole lot happier and nmore hopeful than the post-millenium world, which is plagued by AIDS and obesity.
Live fast, die young
The team hunted down the same participants, a decade or so later, to see if life had turned out as well (or badly) as had been predicted.
The doomed to die young, were still around (for the most part), but their lives were a lot more VOLATILE, than their more hopeful peers.
Many of them had adopted a live fast, die young approachto their existence, so they were significantly more likely to have dabbled with drugs and to have attempted suicide.
The chicken or the egg ?
The study really doesn’t provide enough insight into these thought patterns.
- Were those who expected to check out early, already in trouble ?
- Or did the low expectation, lead to the trouble ?
I suspect it probably is a little bit of both.
Resolving which comes first, won’t eliminate the underlying mindset which boils down to..
If I am going to go out early, I am going to go out with a bang !
Sow seeds of hope
As a Mom of a heffa-lump this leaves you stuck between a rock and a hard place.
Ignoring the obesity issue, puts your loved one on a path to a host of health troubles and an early demise.
Highlighting the PROBLEM, could be creating a feeling of hopelessness, which opens the door to new problems.
So what should you do ?
Aim for the middle ground…….. encourage your teen, to adopt habits that lead to better body chemistry and create an enabling environment. Remember, little things can often make a big difference to overall body chemistry.Adolescent Expectations of Early Death Predict Adult Risk Behaviors. PLoS ONE, 2012; 7 (8): e41905 Quynh C. Nguyen, Andres Villaveces, Stephen W. Marshall, Jon M. Hussey, Carolyn T. Halpern, Charles Poole.
Interested in learning more about the chemistry behind those extra fat layers ?
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Did you learn something new or do you have a different perspective ? I’d love to hear from you so post me a comment below