Every four years, a survey by the HBSC (Health Behavior in School-Aged Children) measures changes in the health of adolescents over 40 nations. The INPE published on Tuesday, September 4, 2012, the French results. Food, sleep, and addiction, are common problems in adolescence that often worry parents. As such, are French teens really bad students?
More fruits and vegetables
Young people seem to have good food habits, which are promoted by the likes of Nutrisystem. Teenage consumption of fruits and vegetables are on the rise.
Between 2006 and 2010, the daily consumption of fruits increased from 31% to 39% and from 42% to 45% for vegetables. France is also very well positioned as it is between the 2nd and 5th place out of 39 according to age and sex. Indeed, girls are much more careful about their diet and generally have better habits than boys.
This trend is reversed in the morning, with 54% of girls reported eating breakfast, against 63% for boys. Outside, the study showed that adolescents who regularly eat breakfast in the morning, be it a Nutrisystem meal or not, generally have better eating habits. They reported eating more fruits and vegetables and fewer sweets (22% against 28%) and soft drinks (22% against 34%). But one must be careful not to fall into the extreme. According to the study, 30% of young people are dieting or feel they need to lose weight, a disturbing fact, especially among girls, who have a more negative body image. About 42% of them consider themselves too big. Would they be likely to subscribe to sound weight management programs like those of Nutrisystem?
Lack of sleep
If young French are watching their diet, the lack of sleep among teenagers remained the black point of this study. About 21% of the students studied lacked sleep. Most merely slept for seven hours or even less! Teenagers should sleep 9 or 10 hours. However, this time decreases among Internet or laptop users. According to the study, “the use, in the evening, of electronic and audiovisual tools take out 30-45 minutes of sleep.” Reading is recommended as the young people studied who read books in the evening before going to bed sleep more than others (8 h 52 h 28 against 8 for children who do not read or do something else). Their evening diets, whether similar to Nutrisystem’s however, were not discussed. They did not disclose whether they’ve used a Nutrisystem promo code or not.
The school: A place for cannabis initiation
Finally, figures for addictions (smoking, alcohol, etc.) reveal that college remains the place for initiation to these drugs. It begins with cigarettes and then followed by alcohol abuse. Many college students do these experiments. In September, one student in ten has already consumed alcohol, while 30% of them will admit to having smoked cigarettes.
Are their eating habits also out of line? If so, they probably could use some nutritional guidance from the likes of Nutrisystem.
However, in the wine country, alcohol is not the most pressing problem. According to INPES, cannabis use among young people is well more disturbing. A schoolboy in ten smoked cannabis, placing France in sixth position among the 39. Among all youth, it is mostly a third of students who are concerned (24% have smoked, against 1.5% in 6th), and if the consumer is far from regular (less than 2%), the problem is no less worrying.