GIOVENTU » Teenagers are sedentary, obese and internet obseesed?

Teenagers are sedentary, obese and internet obseesed?

The annual survey “Abitudini e stili di vita degli adolescenti" (habits and life styles of adolescents) of the Italian Society of Paediatrics has released some new worrying data about Italian teenagers.

According to the survey The new generation is increasingly sedentary, obese and internet obsessed.

More than 60% of adolescents spend between 10 and 11 hours per day sitting, In the class room or on the sofa in front of the TV or browsing the internet.

What has emerged from the survey is that 17.3 % of Italian teenagers watch television for more than 3 hours per day. Television, after years of decline, is in fact back in vogue together with the increasing use of the internet. Moreover, most of the young people (43,1%) are taken to school by their parents by car, so that they almost literary won’t move a step all day.

Sedentariness is one of the main causes of obesity, as a consequence the new generation is increasingly obese. A few hours of sport per week are not enough to modify such an unhealthy life style.

As it emerged, this is not only bad for their physical health but also for their mood. Apparently Sedentariness affects the mood, because the absence of movement reduces the oxygenation of the brain, slows the production of endorphins and dopamine, chemicals produced by the body that are associated with feelings of well-being and sense of pleasure.

As far as the use of new technologies is concerned the new generation is slave of Facebook and smart phones. 79.8% of Italian teenagers have a profile on Facebook, while just a year ago they were 10% less. 65% have a mobile phone to surf online.

The use of social networks is more diffused in big cities together with the related phenomena of “cyberbullying” which apparently affect girls more than boys (25% of girls and 15% of boys).

This “unhealthy” life-style is also confirmed by the results of the survey project “Zheng un amico” (http://www.zhengunamico.it), a free psychological help offered to teenagers on Facebook. Even there one out of five of the people interviewed admits having used drugs, one out of three smoking and one out of five, over 15 years old, of drinking between meals.

Giulia Lombardo

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