Study Associates Acne with Teen Mental Health Problems

Researchers with the University of Oslo have found a link between poor mental health and acne in teenagers.

Dr. Jon Anders Halvorsen and his colleagues studied 3,775 adolescents, asking them about their diets, lifestyles, and mental health.

“Our study shows a possible link between diet and acne. However, when we introduce symptoms of depression and anxiety into our statistical model, the role of diet is less clear,” Dr. Halvorsen said in the journal BMC Public Health. “On the other hand, the association between acne and mental health problems was strong, even when diet was introduced.”

California County Supervisors Approve Anti-Gang Plan

The Salinas County (Calif.) Board of Supervisors gave their approval Tuesday to a new plan for funding anti-gang programs in the area . Jim Johnson of the Monterey County Herald reported the following details in his Sept. 23 article:

The plan will be used to seek funding for anti-gang programs, and was developed by representatives of both the county and the city of Salinas.

County spokesman Nick Chiulos said officials are hoping to get the plan approved as soon as possible so they can immediately pursue funding from federal and state sources.

“This sets a tone,” Supervisor Simon Salinas said, calling it a kind of “general plan” for rooting out gangs. “This looks at addressing the conditions that contribute to gangs.”

Childhood Anxiety, Low Self-Esteem Linked to Later-Life Weight Problems

Children with low self-esteem are more likely to become overweight adults, according to a new study of more than 6,500 British children.

A Sept. 11 Medical News Today article provided the following details about the study, which was conducted by Andrew Ternouth, David Collier and Barbara Maughan from the MRC Social, Genetic and Developmental Psychiatry Centre at the Institute of Psychiatry, King’s College London:

The researchers examined data from about 6,500 people who were enrolled in the 1970 British Birth Cohort Study when they were 10 years old, at which time their emotional problems, self-perceptions and BMI were assessed.
The study subjects were re-interviewed in 1990, when they were 30 years old.
Those who had low self-esteem as children, who felt less control over their lives, and who worried more often than average were the ones most likely to have gained weight over the ensuing two decades.

This study is scheduled to appear in the British journal BMC Medicine.

Troubled Teens Build Fence, Develop Skills, Serve Community

On Sept. 18, three troubled teens blended in with the rest of the volunteers who built a fence for Canada’s John Howard Society’s Howard House. Howard House is home to the troubled youth, who have recently been released from custody and struggle with various addictions.

Jamie Hall reported on the effort in a Sept. 19 Edmonton Journal article:

The volunteers are modeling a work ethic and demonstrating skills they hope the boys will remember, and mimic, when they one day enter the working world. …

“These kids have busted their butts. They’re working as hard as anyone here,” Steve Root said.

“I asked one of them to move 100 50-pound bags of concrete. I expected to get about 10 minutes out of him and to see him sitting around somewhere. He came back half-an-hour later dripping with sweat, panting and wheezing, and asking me what he should do next.” …

More than a hundred employees from a dozen engineering companies spent the past two Fridays completing projects for the John Howard Society and for the Youth Emergency Shelter Society.

The Engineering Challenge day of Caring is in its third year of pooling talent from firms around the city that commit to helping complete projects for non-profit organizations, Hall reported. The effort gives the engineers an opportunity to give back, and puts faces and names to troubled youth who might otherwise be forgotten.

More Teens Abusing ADHD Meds

A new study out of the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center found that, over the last eight years, calls to poison control centers about teenagers abusing ADHD drugs increased 76 percent. Calls came from worried parents, emergency room doctors and others.

“In the study, researchers from Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center evaluated 1998-2005 data from the American Association of Poison Control Centers …

The surge outpaced calls for teen substance abuse generally. It also paralleled an 86 percent rise in ADHD medicine prescriptions for kids aged 10 to 19, from about four million to nearly eight million” (Source: Fox59 News)

About 42 percent of teens who were the subject of poison-control calls related to the abuse of ADHD medication experienced moderate to severe side-effects, and most ended up in an emergency room.