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World News and Trends: The Tragedy of today's British youth

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The Tragedy of today's British youth

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Whether it's obesity, alcoholism, drug abuse, illicit sex, illegitimacy, abortions or smoking, statistics generally place these young people at the top of the list.

Recently the British Medical Association (BMA) released a devastating report on teenage health. Times health editor Nigel Hawkes summed up the sad situation: "Britain is breeding a generation of adults that will tend to be infertile, obese and prone to mental illness ... Tomorrow's adults are overweight, smoke and drink too much, and have rising levels of sexual infection and mental illness" (Dec. 9).

Vivian Nathanson, head of science and ethics at the British Medical Association, said: "Young people in Britain are increasingly likely to be overweight, indulge in binge drinking, have a sexually transmitted infection and suffer mental health problems."

Further, the number of British girls indulging in underage sex has doubled in 10 years' time. One in four who have reached ages 15 and 16 smokes and about a third have experimented with marijuana. Early teens are consuming alcohol as never before, with more than a third relating that they got drunk for the first time at 13 or under.

No wonder the BMA predicts that "today's teenagers are condemning themselves to years of poor health and an early death" (Daily Mail, Dec. 8).

It was Israel's King Solomon who perhaps first uttered that thought in the Hebrew Bible. He said: "Do not be overly wicked, nor be foolish: Why should you die before your time?"(Ecclesiastes 7:17). The obvious implication in his question is: Why not alter your behavior in advance and live as long as possible? Prevention is far more effective than medical cures. Write for our free booklet Making Life Work. (Sources: The Times, Daily Mail [both London].)