Eating, Smoking, Drinking Habits of British Girls Are Terrifying

America’s first Lady Michelle Obama believes she can make a difference in America’s obesity problem, with a focus on kids and healthy eating. Her job will be next to impossible and many wonder if she understands what she’s up against.  

The results of a British study about the country’s eating habits are terrifying. And teen girls are the worst offenders, much worse than a decade ago.

British Food Journals

Bullet point for Britain: girls are eating a much worse diet than just 10 years ago. With all the conversation about ‘pressure to be thin’, girls are eating like maniacs. Without minimizing the critical problem of anorexia, it’s not the more serious problem, compared to obesity.

The study from Britain’s National Diet and Nutrition Survey, found that 37 per cent of teenage girls are overweight and 22 per cent are classified as obese. Among boys of the same age, 35 per cent are overweight but only 16 per cent are obese.

Only 7 per cent of British girls are eating their “five a day” portions of fruit and vegetables, with an average intake of 2.8 portions.

Almost half of girls fail to eat food rich in iron. Too much sugar, salt — it’s all there.

In smoking and drinking, the girls leave boys in the dust. Eleven per cent of girls aged 13 to 15 drink every week, based on their diaries, compared to 1 percent of boys. Documenting cigarettes, 29 per cent of the young teenage girls smoked, compared with 16 per cent of boys.

The London Times article doesn’t say if the girls who smoke are also obese, which is a doubly-deadly combo.

Based on current information, the eating habits of American teens and adults aren’t vastly different from those in Britain. Bottom line, Michelle Obama’s national initiative isn’t about discriminating against the obese, which will be a common theme today.

It’s about confronting reality, a tendency on short supply in today’s world. Simply stated, these statistics on British teen girls are astounding. One wonders about the reasons for such dramatic changes in the last 10 years — which isn’t to suggest that they were healthy a decade ago but certainly not as unhealthy as teen girls are today. Anne  Read on Teenage girls ‘live on junk food’ London Times

Photo via Flickr’s bonus living (away)