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Arizona Teens Are the Most Irresponsible In The Country

The failure to impart a firm understanding of health and nutrition in teenagers is reaping a terrible harvest of obesity, illness and death nationwide. Nowhere has been as hard hit by this general ignorance of wellness than Arizona. According to a recent study by CBS, the problems go beyond even a glaring refusal to embrace the basic tenets necessary to take control of their health. This has resulted in a generation that frequently embraces the "types of health-risk behaviors that contribute to the leading causes of death and disability among youth and adults." These poor life choices include dangerous sexual behaviors, violence, substance abuse, poor diet and a lack of physical activity.

Teens are among the most likely to engage in high-risk behaviors. Campaigns aimed at curbing these behaviors often focus on the negative consequences, such as receiving severe injuries from car accidents, getting lung disease from smoking or running the risk of obesity related illnesses. These risk warnings and scare tactics are falling on deaf ears and it might be time to adopt a different approach. One alternative is to rely on positive associations instead. For example, rather than reminding your teen that excess alcohol is damaging to their health, teach them that avoiding alcohol will help them reach their peak fitness level. Providing teenagers with access to cutting edge health information must become a national priority. Until this issue is addressed, we face the reality that this will be the first generation that is shorter lived and less healthy than the preceding one.
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