EARLY ADOLESCENT KIDS

kids-circleAdolescence starts earlier in modern generations than previous ones lasting twice as long as it did in the 1950s. So children are hitting puberty earlier than ever before said Psychology professor Laurence Steinberg who explained why to BrainwavesAdolescence is a period of life between starting puberty and becoming stable, independent adults. This time is being extended because some children begin puberty earlier.Kids-Diverse-1

Adolescence is three times as long as it was in the 19th Century and it’s twice as long as in the 1950s.
Professor Laurence Steinberg

According to Professor Steinberg, in the western world adolescence runs from age 10 or to about age 25. Professor Steinberg attributed this phenomenon of lengthening of adolescence to several surprising factors as follows:youth-world-header-large

Obesity & Man-made Chemicals

The first and most important is obesity. The kids who are fatter go through puberty earlier than the leaner kids he said. Man-Made Chemicals. There are other factors as well. One has to do with the exposure of children to endocrine-disrupting chemicals in the man-made environment. The chemicals are not just in food, they’re in cosmetics, they’re in plastics, they’re in pesticides they’re ubiquitous.” “When people are exposed to these endocrine disrupters it alters their hormonal development and many chemicals lead to earlier onset puberty mostly in girls.”hot

More SunLight exposure

The third factor that’s been discovered fairly recently has to do with exposure to sunlight.” It turns out that kids who grow up near the equator go through puberty earlier than kids who grow up near the north or south pole and that’s because, when you grow up near the equator, you have more exposure to sunlight over the course of childhood years.” While it may not be of too much concern to parents in northern Europe, recent research suggests a final factor which applies to many children here.

“Scientists discovered recently the light emanating from tablets or smartphones or computer screens can affect onset of puberty by disrupting brain’s melatonin system. Kids who spend more and more time in front of these screens especially in front of the blue light emitted by the devices probably contributed to earlier puberty as well. Light from the phones impacts brains of kids and adults.“World-Population-889x591.jpg

Adolescent Brainwaves

Brainwaves of the adolescent brain as Pennie Latin examines is relatively a young field of teenage neurology. It has revealed lack of frontal cortex ability to understand risk and consequences. And so although adolescent children may hit puberty earlier, they may not be able to handle the harsh realities of the trauma of war years, distress, rations, famine, lack of tough physical life forced upon previous generations. They worked in factories, chimney sweepers, railway as tracks as children making them more mature. They develop faster on growth spurt but face challenges of the modern generation.

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BAN HOMEWORK PETITION

Schoolboy launched petition for homework to be banned so he has ‘more time to socialise. Lee Sibley has said enough is enough and is demanding that his school, local MP, the PM and the Labour Leader back his petition to change the rules as Sarah Ward’s report titled: SCHOOLBOY LAUNCHES PETITION FOR HOMEWORK TO BE BANNED. The 15-year-old boy wants Jeremy Corbyn and Theresa May to back his campaign to have homework scrapped so he has ‘more time to socialise.’ Lee Sibley has so far amassed 160 signatures for his petition calling on the two biggest party leaders to put aside their differences and ban homework in UK secondary schools.

The GCSE pupil wants the political rivals to look past their differences, and help make sure he has a spare evening to play outside. Lee, who is studying GCSE in Politics, History, English, Maths, Geography, and Science and does three or four hours homework each night. Lee has asked the fierce political rivals to support his cheeky petition. Lee says that the four hours of homework means he has less time to spend with his mum and his friends (Image: Glos Live / SWNS.com) Overworked teen has asked Jeremy Corbyn to back his plan to end homework. The Severn Vale School, pupil says too much homework and he would rather be playing badminton or tennis, or out fishing. “Students go to school about 30 hours a week and spend more hours doing homework. “They should be able to relax their brains and have a break, not work all the time. “I can’t socialise with my friends and family because of all this homework. “I haven’t been able to play tennis or badminton as much recently, or go fishing.” During his half-term break in October, Lee was given ten pieces of homework to do which he says is too much.

Lee raised the issue with his local MP Richard Graham on a school trip to the Houses of Parliament, but was told he should discuss it with the school. The petition is addressed to his local MP, the PM, Labour leader Jeremy Corbin and Severn Vale School head teacher Richard Johnson. Lee also asked the Prime Minister to back his campaign for no more homework.School says the homework is much-needed revision for his GCSEs. Lee, who has learning difficulties, muscle problems and hypermobile joints, lives in Hardwicke in Gloucestershire. Lee’s mum Nicky, 43, said: “When I got home from school, I couldn’t wait to get out and play. “Now they have stress and too much homework. Lee suffers from anxiety. “He gets very anxious about it. He is committed and willing to learn but sometimes it is too much.” Are millennials expecting no pain without gain but want good success and a good life. It is true all work without play makes Jack a dull boy but all play without work is not a wise either. So a balance is required to do work hard, play reasonably, safely and sensibly.reading-homework

A spokesman for Severn Vale School said: “We have extremely high expectations of our students as learners and expect them to take personal responsibility for their learning as well as benefiting from the expertise of our highly skilled staff. “Extensive academic research – from the Sutton Trust amongst others evidences regular completion of homework increases levels of both attainment and achievement across all subject areas.”Much homework for GCSE students is revision which is an ongoing process given the demands of the new GCSE subjects. “A recent feedback session with a panel of students from across the school showed that this is extremely popular.b7c5ff7bc3d9f57fa35d16b84af33772--homework-motivation-homework-folders

“We have two rooms available after school for students to complete homework in and these sessions are well attended and are open for all students to use.” Modern education is commercialised with many companies setting and marking exams. So results are from different boards with extensive details justifying cost of exams and fees. Years later, many graduate with an excellent academic knowledge but under employed. While the few in jobs relevant jobs are over tasked with too much work similar to homework overload. There is a misconception that any studies too simple, easy and straightforward is cheap and low standard. Hence the long years set aside for education and associated homework.4-PowerCuts-Dont-Stop-Homework-In-Gaza-Palestine

So employed people similarly take home work that should be done by two or more employees even during weekends. There is need to recognise that human well-being is far more important than the stress, pressure, panic attacks and lacking practical social skills. A win win situation is ensure academic achievement enhanced and enjoy healthy social interaction and integration. Overwhelming children not academically able is torture and does more harm than good. One academic size does not fit all so assessing genius gifted children with same league table exam is unfair on the ones unable to do so.homework-ban-education-582641

Billions of dollars earned by competitive exams is income generating source so children study for exams they pass but never get the desired universities restricted to privileged few. It means the stress, pressure becomes futile waste of time because there are too many candidates chasing few places. Some children are naturally more talented than others but a compulsory system of education demands all children sit the same exams. Or will not be able to meet the criteria for standards required to go to university to train into life’s calling. Talents, abilities still require training and the experiences necessary to quality in any chosen career and profession. And continues after employment for personal development to upgrade for promotion.

MIRACLE PEOPLE RESCUE

 

 Burat, 10, is now recovering at home after being found in a freezing-cold sewer in western Russia A woman miraculously saved a child from being frozen to death after she accidentally she fell down a manhole and found him. Gulia Yarullina, 31, was part of a 120-strong volunteer group searching for a missing 10-year-old boy in Tatarstan, western Russia. Burat, 10, is now recovering at home after being found in a freezing-cold sewer in western Russia. While looking for the youngster she was given the fright of her life when he fell through an open sewage well which was covered by snow. But to Gulia’s astonishment, she found the lost lad, named Burat, asleep in the sewer. Speaking with NTV, she said: “My first thought was that the boy was dead. He was lying  there as if he had died.“I started screaming because I was scared. He woke up and started screaming too. Gulia Yarullina, who injured her back during the fall, immediately called for help when she found the ladA volunteer looking for the boy also fell down the manhole and accidentally discovered Burat who had fallen asleep in the dark and freezing cold sewer. Gulia Yarullina, who injured her back during the fall, immediately called for help when she found the lad. The brave schoolboy has since been reunited with his family

The brave schoolboy has since been reunited with his family Authorities said the boy would have frozen to death within an hour if he had not been found by Gulia

Authorities said the boy would have frozen to death within an hour if he had not been found by Gulia. “I told him: ‘Do not be afraid, we were looking for you and we have finally found you.’ He was so happy he started jumping.” And the authorities said later that if the volunteer had not tumbled through manhole the boy would have died an hour later. Gulia, who injured her back during the fall phoned for help once she discovered Burat who was rushed to hospital suffering from severe hypothermia. It is amazing how God works miracles to rescue people in the most wonderful way. At times people feel completely lost, hopeless, unable to figure a way out on their own but God intervened and rescues them. A volunteer looking for the boy also fell down the manhole and accidentally discovered Burat who had fallen asleep in the dark and freezing cold sewerOther cases involve another woman who fell into water spring and another 6 feet down captured by CCTV. A 67-year-old woman was seriously injured after falling into an open cellar door while she was walking and checking her cellphone at the same time, police said. The incident, which occurred Thursday in Plainfield, N.J., was captured on surveillance video by a local window company. In the video, the woman can be seen walking on a sidewalk toward open basement-access doors. She holds a purse in her right hand and a cellphone in her left; just before she arrives at the hole, she glances toward her phone.hqdefault

A moment later, she stumbles over one of the open doors and falls headfirst into the cellar. Two alarmed bystanders cover their mouths in horror. Plainfield police said in a statement that the woman tumbled about six feet down. Firefighters extricated the woman from the hole, and she was taken to a hospital with serious injuries, police said. The basement-access doors had been open at the time because of repairs to gas lines in the area, police added. Similarly, during journey of life, there are bumps, ditches, potholes and unseen dangers on the way. These can cause people to trip accidentally or carelessly if not alert and watching. Unfortunately some are never rescued due to depth of the hole like the man who fell into crater sink hole in his bedroom in America. But another boy was rescued in another sewer this is quite common all over the world. facebook sign

For example, the snow covered road made it impossible to see the pothole so the woman fell into it also. However, it is a miracle because the steps of the righteous are ordered by the LORD God. The woman could have missed that pot hole and that boy would have bed missed his God sent opportunity for rescue. Yet God in His Grace and Mercy at the right time sent help. At times in life, one may feel as if abandoned to the muck and sewers of misfortunes. One tragedy or another trauma after the other until one wonders if even God cares anymore about you. Others due to loss of homes and harsh economic measures are literally living in sewers, rubbish damps and cemetaries all over the world.

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Living a life that is shocking to others beyond measure and yet there is no alternative. No matter the situation in life, there is eternal hope beyond life’s circumstances beyond human control. Jesus said the good Shepherd goes after the one lost sheep until it is found and brought safely home. It is good to know God deeply cares and uses people and all the available resources to rescue people from the potholes and the sewers of life. Interestingly, those who carelessly fall into hole by errors are equally rescued like those who fall down the drain accidentally fell into a hole. The blood of Jesus cleanses all the muck, stench and shame of embarrassment cleaning us as white as snow. Today, maybe you convinced yourself that you have fallen too deep down beyond redemption.58db372312ea5

Romans 6:6-7 says, know that the old self is crucified with Jesus so the body of sin is forgiven. No longer be enslaved to sin for Jesus died to set free from sin. The Bible says, there is now condemnation for those in Christ Jesus. The good news Gospel is God loves you and forever so accept His love. God does not measure salvation by material possessions, status or class. Things are good, necessary and useful but things do not impress God much. God created all things so humans are stewards. God’s does not want anyone to gain the whole world and lose their soul. Salvation is through His Son Jesus Christ. And so there is no muck, stench, grime, slime, gunch, drench of sin beyond the blood of Jesus. God is sending Jesus to rescue all in the holes of sin today. Receive help and be saved in Jesus Name.

THE GET RICH QUICK SCHEMES

A record £1.1bn in overpaid benefits was recovered from fraudsters last year

People lose millions in online ‘get rich quick’ schemes according to an article in the news once again on binary options trading. In Israel and Canada, binary options trading is illegal as Adele Robinson, the News Correspondent stated in the news. An online investment scam targeting people through social media has seen the amount of money lost by victims in the UK rise by 400,000% in six years. Figures from Action Fraud show the amount lost to “binary options” trading increased from £6,200 in 2012, to £27m in 2017 alone, with the total currently standing at £61m. Binary option or fixed odds betting are being used by fraudsters as part of a multi-billion pound industry which is believed to be co-ordinated by overseas criminals. A binary option is where you can gamble on an outcome, usually something to go up or down, with the pay-off being a fixed amount or nothing at all. One example would be to bet on whether the value of gold will be above or below a certain price and investors believe they can gain high returns on little amounts. Consumer group Which? has described binary options scam as “Britain’s biggest investment con” with illegitimate companies targeting victims through pop up adverts online and cold-calling.Frank Thornburrow believes he was conned

Frank Thornburrow was targeted through social media and believes he was conned. As an investment idea it first appeared ten years ago but the industry has grown exponentially in recent years. Detective Sergeant Alex Eristavi from the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau, run by the City of London police, says people are being defrauded on a daily basis. “There is no typical victim,” he told Sky News, “they are just ordinary folk like you and me. The youngest one is 19 years old, that we have recorded so far, and the oldest is 93, so it’s a wide spectrum. “It’s fair to say with binary options coming into play the average victim’s age of investment fraud has dropped because previously it was over 60 and now it’s early 50s. “It’s because the younger generation are taking part in this activity, and it could be easily explained as social media is a lot to do with it, the advertisements and the pop ups etc.”The City of London is home to the UK's financial services sectorThe Financial Conduct Authority will begin to regulate binary options trading this year. Binary options trading is currently regulated by the Gambling Commission but from January 2018 the Financial Conduct Authority will take over. In other countries like Israel and Canada, it has been banned completely. Frank Thornburrow from Kent, lost his life savings when he invested in binary options. He has been unable to get any money back and told Sky News that he believes he was conned. He gives one example from an email telling him that to access his money he would have to make 150,000 trades, which was money he simply did not have. “The last couple of years haven’t been easy,” he said. “I lost my daughter couple of years ago when she died of cancer. I retired and I was looking for a way of making money so I tried binary because it looked good. “And basically it was a big con, it didn’t work out and I lost a lot of money. I’ve ended up with a triple bypass, so that’s the impact it’s had on me.” There is also concern that students are falling victims to scam companies after gambling with their maintenance grants to “flip” their money, according to Action Fraud. The advice from police is that “if you don’t know the field, don’t get involved in it” as there are “so many rogue companies out there.” Which? carried out its own investigations into binary options companies and found evidence of “bad practice across the board”, with high pressure sales tactics and “unfair” terms and conditions. Jenni Allen, managing director at Which? Money, said: “We found for instance that people making a deposit had to invest up to forty times that deposit to even access their money again. “I think most worryingly found examples of where actual data being used was rigged by the company so your initial investments would return some form of profit in return but thereafter you would receive loss after loss.”

GOODFOOD TO BIN RESCUED

People eating snacks and dips

the food tucked into in Kilner jars filled with delicious goods as piccalilli, vegan chocolate mousse with a creamy tofu topping all was made from ingredients that would have otherwise been thrown away. Adam Handling launched Bean & Wheat in June to use surplus food from a kitchen of his nearby restaurant, The Frog E1. The Masterchef finalist wanted to help reduce around 199,000 tonnes of food waste produce each year by British restaurants, which he feels harms the environment but also “wastes money.”Adam Handling

Bean & Wheat’s dishes include salads made from unusual parts of vegetables, such as cauliflower stalks, pates made with off-cuts, and oils made with the tops of the herbs which are usually binned. Adam Handling reuses surplus food from the kitchen at his restaurant, the Frog E1. Mr Handling also makes his own compost from vegetable peelings, cold-pressed juices, misshapen fruit, and soap with coffee grounds. One of his priorities is to minimise food waste at restaurants to the point that we have hardly any,” he says. Bean & Wheat is one of a rising number of companies looking to tackle the issue of food waste, which sees a third of food produced for human consumption is lost or is wasted, according to UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation. That’s equivalent to 1.3 billion tonnes globally every year. The overproduction of food, rules restricting sale of discoloured or “wonky” produce, and aversion to leftovers, despite being perfectly fine to eat are all to blame. So campaigners say not only is such waste morally wrong, it also wastes water and worsens global warming as swelling landfills emit more greenhouse gasses.Kilner jars at Bean and Wheat

Jenny Dawson Costa quit her job in the hedge fund industry in 2011 to launch Rubies in the Rubble, hoping to offer a practical solution to the problem. The British firm uses unwanted “ugly” fruit and veg from UK farms to make their condiments, such as pink onion, chilli relish, banana ketchup and piccalilli. Its products are available in 500 stockists, including Waitrose, Selfridges and independent stores. Ms Dawson says that since she started, the public has become more aware about the issue of food waste and more open to eating surplus food. “Many consumers used to be put off by it and were worried about the quality but I think that’s changing. Brands like ours are also showing it can be used in products that taste great,” she adds, noting that her firm has won several awards. Indeed, even major retailers are embracing the trend, with Tesco and Asda among those now stocking misshapen fruit and veg. More stories from BBC’s Business Brain series looking at interesting business topics from around the world.The firm's condiments are sold in Waitrose and Selfridges

Rubies in the Rubble’s products are sold in Waitrose and Selfridges. Others are taking a different approach to tackling problem, such as Danish tech company Too Good To Go. It is one of a number of new apps that allow customers to buy unsold food from the local restaurants, cafes and bakeries for knockdown prices. The firm works with more than 6,000 food businesses including Yo! Sushi and Exmouth Coffee Company, and operates in six countries including UK, Sweden and Germany. Co-founder Chris Wilson says it saved two million meals from the bin since its launch in June 2016, however the firm still has to fight against negative perceptions around surplus food. “Whilst there’s been a shift in the mentality of people, most people are sceptical vast majority of the UK still looks upon food waste as being scraps from people’s plates. With us it’s not that at all.”Jamie Crummie and Chris Wilson co-founded Too good to go. Trish Caddy, food industry analyst at Mintel believes though surplus food continues to be stigmatised. “Consumers demand that companies address food waste but currently do not translate it to own behaviour remains to be seen if trend goes mainstream soon.Too good to goShe points to a Mintel survey, which found that 77% of those who eat out or buy takeaways agree restaurants should be more committed to reducing food waste, but only 17% are interested in eating dishes made from food was due to be thrown away. Of course, the hospitality industry will not be able tackle problem of food waste alone. So manufacturers, retailers, importantly households as the biggest producers of food waste must all play their part, says UK charity Waste & Resources Action Programme. Mr Handling says every little helps and there are plenty of ways food businesses can contribute. They can incorporate more ‘nose-to-tail’ cooking, send anything that can’t be cooked to be composted, or find another way to use off-cuts and by-products, or donate leftovers to charities as some restaurants and supermarkets do. “It’s about taking a second to think ‘have I absolutely exhausted all possibilities with this ingredient?’ before throwing it away.” Famine and child starvation can be stopped by food alert centres and a delivery system that makes use of good food away. Supermarkets can be also encouraged to reset sell by and use by dates as perfectly good food is thrown away because computers programmed reject sales if good foods. Yet constantly restock with similar good foods only to be thrown away but cost of production is affecting the environment. A win win situation is to help people understand how long it takes to grow food so not to easily throw away good food without second thought. Those who grew up in ration years know value of such quality good foods unavailable in the past now in superabundance taken for granted.

THE FOOD CHOICE FORCES

Modern food choices are influenced by forces out of control. An average person makes over 200 food-related decisions each day – but environmental forces can cause us to overeat by taking advantage of biological, psychological, and social and economic vulnerabilities. And so following a healthy diet can be hard. From deciding when and what to eat to how much food you actually put on your plate, the average person makes decisions each day, most of which are automatic. These automatic choices dubbed mindless eating by some experts happen when we eat and drink without consciously considering what kind of or how much food to consume. We’ll keep eating from a bowl of chips past the point of fullness simply because they’re in front of us. Even the most disciplined consumers are not fully in control of what they eat. Studies have shown that decisions such as when, what and how much to eat are often shaped by subtle forces outside of our awareness or direct control. These environmental forces can cause us to overeat taking advantage of biological, psychological, and social and economic vulnerabilities. This helps explain why 2 billion people worldwide overweight or obese, and why no country has yet been able to reverse their obesity epidemic. There’s hope. Research shed light on the major forces that encourage overeating, including biological, psychological, social, and economic. Now that we know more about them, we are in a better position to intervene.

BIOLOGY INFLUENCES APPETITES

Why do humans tend to crave items like chocolate over salad? Taste preferences such as a “sweet tooth” are innate to human biology, and they can change over the course of our lives. Children, for example, have a stronger preference for sweet foods than adults do. Modern food environment introduced an influx of processed foods filled with sugar, fat, salt, flavor enhancers, food additives, caffeine and so on. These ingredients are manipulated to try to maximize our biological enjoyment and satisfy those innate taste preferences. For instance, research finding says a certain highly palatable food like chocolate milkshake trigger brain responses like people’s reactions to addictive substances, giving new meaning to idea of ‘sugar high’. But processed foods are frequently stripped of components such as water, fiber and protein that cause us to feel full, making it difficult for the body to regulate food intake and maintain weight.

THE BRAIN LOVES FOOD

In addition to biological enjoyment of highly processed foods, there’s a lot to love about them psychologically. From McDonald’s Happy Meals toys to Coca-Cola’s global “Open Happiness” special marketing campaign, examples abound of the link between food and pleasure. Companies spend billions of the dollars used in marketing foods to create image of strong, positive association with their products. One study found that children actually think same food tastes better adorned with a cartoon character like Dora the Explorer or Shrek. There are lots of small ways our environment can promote overeating. People eat more when served larger portions, regardless of how hungry they are. Unhealthy foods are very noticeable and desired because they are everywhere in schools, restaurants, convenience stores, or the supermarkets and vending machines. They’ve even infiltrated stores selling office supplies and home goods.

The places where we make many of our food decisions can be overwhelming for busy consumers with 40,000 different products in a typical supermarket), and most psychological cues in environment signal us to eat more not less. Examples are large portion sizes, food prices, the placement of food items in stores and promotional strategies to market foods affect dietary decisions on daily basis. Consider portion size alone: Drinking Coca-Cola in 1950s meant consuming a 6.5-ounce glass; today 7-Eleven Double Gulp is roughly 10 times that size and contains nearly 800 calories. But for food out of sight means out of mind. Google provides free snack foods for employees, and found that employees were eating too many M&Ms. So they placed the M&Ms in opaque containers and made healthier snacks more visible. Simply placing M&Ms out of sight from 2,000 employees in the New York office meant they consumed 3.1 million fewer calories in just seven weeks.

ENVIRONMENT INFLUENCE FOOD

Unhealthy foods are often inexpensive, making them especially appealing to those on a tight budget. But fast food and ready-to-eat convenience store items are also widely available and quicker and easier to prepare than home-cooked meals, which makes busy consumers vulnerable to overeating them. Food companies also engage in targeted efforts to market to certain groups. For example, recent reports have shown that soda companies are increasing their spending in the US on targeting black and Hispanic youth, a concerning strategy as these groups have greater rates of obesity. The good news is public discourse about obesity and policy-making is starting to reflect science. The public and policymakers are realizing that health issues like obesity and its related chronic diseases are not just about people’s individual food decisions. People are prone to over-consume unhealthy foods because our current food environments exploit biological, psychological, and social and economic vulnerabilities, undermining people’s ability, personal responsibility for their food choices. Because weight loss programs lead to limited weight loss difficult to maintain, bolder efforts are needed to prevent overweight and obesity in the first place. Fortunately, policy-level interventions introduced. In US, by Food and Drug Administration will require large chain restaurants to list calorie content on food menus in 2016 and it has proposed adding a Daily Value for Added Sugars on food labels to limit consumption.

US Food and Drug Administration check large chain restaurant’s calorie list of food menus since 2016. Although the research or influence of calorie label and food choice mixed current evidence suggests that calorie labeling promotes lower calorie food choices for some consumers, some of the time, at some restaurants. The FDA has also taken action to remove harmful trans fats which increase risk of heart disease from processed foods. The US, United Kingdom, Peru, Uruguay and Costa Rica enacted policies to remove “junk food” from public schools out of sight out of mind. UK imposed sugar tax to help reduce sugar content levels in food and drinks. And Mexico recently enacted a one peso (8 cents) per liter tax on sugar-sweetened beverages to curb obesity epidemic. Berkeley, California passed a US$0.01 per ounce excise tax on sugar-sweetened beverages in 2014 and expects to generate $1.2 million from this year.Chile and Peru banned toys in Happy Meals. McDonald’s, Wendy’s and Burger King all dropped soft drinks from their children’s menus. These are important steps in tackling obesity epidemic, and more research is needed for us to understand which interventions will work best. Innovative policies are needed to change what and how much we eat, alongside the efforts by food industry to make healthier life choices easier yet food more desirable.

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Christina Roberto, Assistant Professor of Social and Behavioral Sciences and Nutrition, University of Pennsylvaniaand Mary Gorski, PhD Student, Health Policy, Harvard University

This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.

FATHER/SON DEPRESSION

Unhappy father and sonDepresssion in fathers and mothers, has an impact on children despite mothers often of focus when treating adolescent depression, a study suggests. University College London (UCL) report looked at 14,000 families in the UK and Ireland. It said both parents had a role to play in preventing teenage depression. The researchers encouraged more fathers to seek help for depressive symptoms by speaking to their doctor. Dr Gemma Lewis from UCL, who led the study, said because mothers tended to spend more time with their children, there was often a tradition of “mother-blaming” when treating mental health issues in offspring. But she said the research showed that “we should be bringing fathers into the picture more.” Dr Lewis added: “If you’re a father who hasn’t sought treatment for your depression, it could have an impact on your child. We hope our findings could encourage men who experience depression to speak to their doctor about it.”Men should seek treatment if they are experiencing symptoms of depression, researchers said.Father hugging his son

The study is based on two large samples of the general population 6,000 families from Ireland and nearly 8,000 from the UK – in which parents and children, at the ages of seven, nine and 13-14, filled in questionnaires about their feelings. Children were asked about emotional symptoms and parents also answered questions on their feelings, which were measured against a depression scale. The results showed a link between depressive symptoms in fathers and similar symptoms in their adolescent children that was similar in size to the effect of a mother’s depression. Many mental health problems, including depression, start at about age of 13, the researchers said although depression in mothers was already known to increase the risk, influence of fathers’ wellbeing was a new finding.

‘Negative thinking’

In the home, depressive symptoms can make mothers and fathers more prone to fatigue, more irritable likely to argue with their children. “Children see the way their parents behave and act and could bring negative ways of thinking, which could lead to depression,” Dr Lewis said. The study concluded that fathers as well as mothers should be involved in tackling the problem of adolescent depression at an early stage. It highlighted the importance of treating depression in both parents.

Symptoms of depression

  • They can vary widely but often you will feel sad, hopeless and lose interest in the thing you enjoy.
  • Normally, it becomes bad enough to affect your work, social life and family relationships.
  • Psychological symptoms can include low self-esteem, no motivation and feeling tearful.
  • Physical symptoms can include changes in appetite, lack of energy and disturbed sleep.
  • Social symptoms may include avoiding contact with friends and withdrawing from social activities.

How to seek help

  • Go and see your GP if you experience symptoms of depression every day for more than two weeks.
  • Treatment usually involves a combination of self-help, talking therapies and medicines, depending on the type of depression you have.

Jo Hardy, head of parents services at charity YoungMinds, said parents often wanted to hide their own mental health problems so as not to burden children but she said it was better “to be honest, open, and give children a chance to ask questions.” “It’s important to remember that having depression does not need to stop you from being a great parent. You and your family can support your child, provide reassurance and love, and help them to do things they enjoy.