Most Behaviors Leading to Major Causes of Preventable Death Have Begun by Young Adulthood
By the time they reach early adulthood, a large proportion of American youth have already begun the poor health practices that lead to three leading causes of preventable death.
Schmalfeldt: By the time they reach early adulthood, a large proportion of American youth have already begun the poor health practices that lead to three leading causes of preventable death. That's according to an NIH-funded analysis of the most comprehensive survey of adolescent health behavior undertaken to date. The anaysis appears in the January 2006 Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine and was conducted by researchers at the Carolina Population Center and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Dr. Christine Bachrach is chief of the National Insitute of Child Health and Human Development's Demographic and Behavioral Sciences Branch. She served as project officer for the study.
Bachrach: I'd say that the really key thing that this study has pointed out to us is that we need to pay more attention to people who are just beyond the teenage years — people who haven't settled down yet. And we have to really pay attention to their health, their health behaviors, and reach out to them in the way that we've reached out to adolescents.
Schmalfeldt: According to the study, by the time adolescents reach early adulthood, a large proportion are smoking, frequently eating fast food, are overweight, fail to exercise, and drink alcohol to excess. For more information on the study, visit www.nichd.nih.gov. From the National Institutes of Health, I'm Bill Schmalfeldt in Bethesda, Maryland.
About This Audio Report
Reporter: Bill Schmalfeldt
Sound Bite: Dr. Christine Bachrach
Topic: Health Information