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Prevention of bad lifestyle habits should be tackled even before 13 years
Date:12/30/2010

Bad eating habits, ingestion of alcohol, sedentary lifestyles - all unhealthy life habits that are already being detected in early adolescence and that are especially predominant amongst women and young people between the ages of 19 and 26. The prevention campaigns should take very much into consideration these groups at risk and even take into account those less than 13 years. These are some of the conclusions that can be drawn from the PhD thesis presented at the University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU) by researcher Marta Arrue, with the title, Lifestyle habits and psychological factors in adolescence and youth in the Autonomous Community of the Basque Country (CAV-EAE).

Ms Arrue studied 2,018 young people from the CAV-EAE who were asked to fill in various questionnaires. With the gathered data, she collated and analysed habits of life according to sex and age (adolescents from 13 to 17; young persons from 18 to 26).

16 years, crucial

The data point to the fact that young persons show more risk behaviour than expected, more even than they themselves perceive, believing that they are healthier than they really are. The least healthy habits turn out to be eating ones, followed by ingestion of alcohol, sedentarism, risks involving sexual relations, the consumption of tobacco and drugs and, finally, low quality or insufficient sleep.

By age, it is notable that risk behaviour presents itself in early adolescence and that all the habits, except sleep, worsen with the passing of the years. Ms Arrue concluded that special attention has to be paid to adolescents of 16 years: this is the point of no return, as it were; the age in which either healthy activities are opted for or risk behaviour patterns arise. With respect to gender, women show greater risk conduct than men. The weak point of women is sedentarism, tobacco, sleep, risk of becoming pregnant and sexually transmitted diseases. Men, on the other hand, show
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Contact: Amaia Portugal
a.portugal@elhuyar.com
34-943-363-040
Elhuyar Fundazioa
Source:Eurekalert

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