(NaturalNews) "Physicians and parents should be aware that both overeating and binge eating are quite common in adolescents, and these problems put them at risk for other problems, such as drug use", says Kendrin Sonneville, doctor at Boston Children's Hospital.
Kids who overeat are more likely to try drugs
A recent study revealed an unsettling truth: a lot of kids are eating more than they should, and a correlation exists between overeating eating and drug use. For this research, scientists looked at 16,882 kids, initially between the ages of nine and 15, over a nine year period. The kids were asked to complete a yearly questionnaire about their health, with 32 percent eventually reporting the use of various illicit drugs. Those who were also binge eating proved to be 1.9 times more likely to pick up drugs, while those who generally overate were 2.7 times more likely to start using drugs than kids without eating problems.
Scientists at the Boston Children's Hospital are not really sure why kids who overeat are more vulnerable to drug use, but one thing is clear: overeating can potentially cause unexpected physical and emotional anguish. "We need to think about eating habits even before they maybe affect a kid's weight, but realize these may be a risk factor for other problems down the road", explained Dr. Sonneville.
Simple tips to improving a teen's diet
It is no news that modern teenagers tend to be very self conscious about their bodies. Adolescence is when people start feeling pressured to look and behave in a certain way, particularly if they want to attract the attention of the opposite sex and the approval of their peers. But teens are also very likely to consume junk food and processed foods out of commodity. Some statistics show that as many as nine out of ten teens eat junk food on a daily basis.
Luckily, there are a few things that parents and caretakers can do to help improve the diets of teenagers. One of them is ensuring that kids receive balanced, high quality home-cooked meals every day. A hearty breakfast means fewer chances that a teen will buy junk food at school. Parents can eat breakfast and dinner together with their children, which makes it a lot easier to control what the entire family eats. School canteens can also be lobbied for better food choices, as well as the inclusion of healthy food items, such as fruits, at lower prices.
Lunch is usually the time when kids are most tempted to eat junk food. People who are better educated about the benefits of wholesome natural foods are less likely to make bad food choices, so talking about food with kids can help increase their nutritional awareness. Preparing a healthy sandwich at home for lunch, together with fruit or homemade, delicious dessert will also discourage the consumption of junk food at school.
About the author: Raw Michelle is a natural health blogger and researcher, sharing her passions with others, using the Internet as her medium. She discusses topics in a straight forward way in hopes to help people from all walks of life achieve optimal health and well-being. She has authored and published hundreds of articles on topics such as the raw food diet and green living in general.