TEENS WHO SAW TOBACCO ADS ARE MORE LIKELY TO SMOKE (DUH)
A study of German teens finds that those who were exposed to more cigarette advertisements during a nine-month observation period were more likely to take up smoking. The study is published in the journal Pediatrics.
Researchers looked at the role that any kind of advertising, including cigarette advertising, plays in influencing teens to begin smoking. Researchers showed advertisements to 2,102 German teens who had never smoked. The ads included six cigarette advertisements, and eight ads for other products including candy, clothes, cell phones and cars.
Students also answered surveys about how frequently they had seen each ad, as well as questions about smoking behaviors among their parents, peers, and their attitudes toward rebellious and sensation-seeking behaviors.
Initially, 47% of students reported one or more parents who smoked and 27% reported having peers who smoked.
During the nine-month observation period, 13% of students started smoking, the researchers reported. Increased incidence of smoking was associated with increased exposure to cigarette advertisements, according to the study. Other factors tied to taking up smoking included older age, lower socioeconomic status, having friends who smoked, and higher levels of sensation-seeking behavior.
The study authors say their research shows that adolescent exposure to cigarette advertising, but not to other advertisements, is tied,at least in part, to the initiation of smoking. The study points out that while some countries, including Italy, Finland and New Zealand have strong anti-tobacco marketing regulations, other countries, including the United States and Germany, have “considerably weaker tobacco-marketing policies.”
Almost 90% of smokers began the habit when they were teens, according to theAmerican Association of Pediatrics. Each puff of a cigarette exposes the body to more than 400 toxic substances including cyanide, benzene, formaldehyde, acetylene, ammonia, carbon monoxide, as well as nicotine, the substance that makes smoking so highly addictive.
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'Healthy' kids' foods usually aren't, study finds (DUH)
Just because a box of cereal claims to be nutritious doesn't mean it's actually healthy, researchers warn. (Photo courtesy of Marion Nestle)
If the foods we ate were actually as healthy as their packages would have us believe, Americans certainly wouldn’t be spending $168 billion a year on obesity-related healthcare costs. So it shouldn’t exactly be shocking to learn that yet another study has found that the front-of-package labels on processed food items are misleading (to put it kindly).
The report focuses on the claims made on packages of certain cereals, meals, beverages and snacks that are marketed to kids. Researchers zeroed in on 58 products that were deemed healthy by an industry group and that also made nutritional claims on their front-of-package labels. Among the 58 items were such staples as Campbell’s Tomato Soup, Skippy Super Chunk Peanut Butter and Rice Krispies.
The researchers examined the "nutrition facts" panels of all 58 items to determine how much sodium and fiber they contained, and to calculate the percentage of total calories that came from sugar, fat and saturated fat. Then they checked to see how many of the items measured up to nutrient criteria derived from the federal government's "Dietary Guidelines for Americans." To qualify as healthy, foods had to:
Derive less than 35% of their total calories from fat (exceptions were made for nuts, nut butters and seeds) and less than 10% from saturated fat;
Get less than 25% of their total calories from sugar;
Contain at least 1.25 grams of fiber per serving (milk products and 100% fruit juices got a pass); and
Contain less than 480 milligrams per serving of sodium (for snacks) or less than 600 milligrams per serving of sodium (for meals).
Care to guess how many of the 58 items failed to meet at least one of these criteria and were judged “unhealthy” by the Prevention Institute researchers? Would you believe 49?
95% of all products in the study contained added sugars, including high fructose corn syrup and healthy-sounding alternatives such as honey and fruit juice concentrate.
17% of the items contained “no whole food ingredients.”
Only one of the 58 products contained a green vegetable (peas).
The study concludes that it’s time to call in the food police -- otherwise known as the Food and Drug Administration -- to create a rational, uniform and honest system for conveying nutritional information on food packages, as is already done in Canada, Sweden and the Netherlands:
“Key nutrition information, including calories, saturated fat (and trans fat), added sugar, and sodium should be listed in easy-to-read type, on the front of packaging. Nutrients associated with health, including vitamins A, C, D, calcium, and fiber, should not be included since they have the potential to mislead shoppers into believing that foods with a poor overall nutritional profile are healthful.”
Just keep in mind, under this laissez-faire approach, added sugars and unhealthy fats have come to account for almost 40% of the calories eaten by kids and teens, according to a study published last year in the Journal of the American Dietetic Assn.
ok, sorry. tell me if you want the whole article posted or just the title. these just came across my desktop this week and are representative of the 'news' in healthcare these days, or at least some of it.
people are getting money, money i say, to study these things. and both entries are pure advertising 101. 'let em see it, think it looks good or sounds good, and they'll buy it/do it'.
we are so gullible. not sure which is more indicative of gullibility, the fact that people didn't know this already or that they paid people to study them!