Canadian Teens Are Better Now Than A Generation Ago

When Canadians look in the mirror, only 11 per cent are completely satisfied with what they see, according to a new global survey.

The findings, put out by market research company GfK, are based on interviews that were conducted last summer across 22 countries with more than 27,000 people aged 15 and older.canadian-teens-feeling-better-than-previous-generation

Among the global highlights:

  • Latin Americans are most satisfied with their looks (thanks to high rankings in Mexico, Brazil and Argentina).
  • The Japanese are most critical of their looks, followed by the British, then Russians, South Koreans, Swedes and Australians.

Not surprisingly, men have a more positive view of their looks than their female counterparts. In Canada, 13 per cent of males say they are completely satisfied with their looks, compared to nine per cent of females.

At the other end of the scale, five per cent of Canadian females say they are “not at all satisfied” with their appearance, compared to two per cent of Canadian men.

Maria credits that to greater awareness and discussion happening in our society, with more parents educating their kids about positive body image.

Unfortunately, nine per cent of Canadian teens are not at all satisfied with their looks, which is much higher than the global average of three per cent…

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The real effects of marijuana on teens

As the debate over legalization heats up, Adriana Barton examines the effects of marijuana on the developing brains of teenagers – our nation’s most prolific users – and finds there is no such thing as a harmless habit.

canadian-teen-smoking-pot-parliament-hill…Canada’s youth are not only top consumers of the world’s most widely used illicit drug – they are also lab rats for the most potent bud the world has ever known. The pot smoked at Woodstock in 1969 contained about 1 per cent of the psychoactive ingredient, tetrahydrocannabinol. It was mere shrubbery compared to today’s street-grade marijuana, which typically has THC concentrations of at least 10 per cent, but may contain upwards of 30 per cent, according to Health Canada.

…Dr. Andra Smith, an associate professor of psychology at the University of Ottawa, used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to compare brain activity in youth ages 19 to 21 who did not smoke pot regularly, and those who had smoked at least one joint a week for three years or more. Urine samples confirmed their cannabis use.

…Smith and colleagues found increased brain activity in the regular pot smokers as they completed tasks designed to measure impulsivity, working memory, visual-spatial processing and sustained attention.

…In a 2012 report, researchers from Duke University analyzed data from Dunedin and found that the earlier and more frequently a person smoked pot, the greater the loss of intelligence by age 38. Compared to their IQs measured at age 13, people who had started using cannabis as teens and maintained a daily pot habit into adulthood had, on average, a six-point drop in IQ. The decline was not trivial: By age 38, their average IQ was below that of 70 per cent of their peers, according to the report, published in the journal PNAS.

Individuals who began using cannabis heavily as adults did not show similar losses in IQ, but quitting pot did not seem to restore intellectual functioning in those who had been chronic pot users as teenagers, the researchers found.

Source: The Globe & Mail October 2014

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