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depression prevention

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Exercise Reduces Depression Risk in Teens

Fit female students are less likely to be depressed a year later

There’s new evidence for exercise’s preventative role in teen mental health. Researchers surveyed 457 sixth- graders for depressive symptoms, BMI and tested their fitness. They found that girls who were in better shape were less likely to be depressed in grade seven. The effect was observed in boys but was not statistically significant.

Positive Tip: Exercise had a real but modest effect on depression, so it should be used in conjunction with one-on-one cognitive behavioral therapy or group therapy to address depressive symptoms.

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School Sports Improve Teens Mental Health

Playing team sports is associated with less depression and better self image in students.

Canadian researchers tracked the school sport participation and mental health of 853 students from grades 8-12. They found that after 5 years, those who were involved in teams sports at school had less depressive symptoms, lower perceived stress and a more positive self-image. Specific causes aren't clear, but researchers hypothesize it may be related to the social bonds fostered in playing together.

PositiveTip: Encourage your teen to join a school team sport they enjoy.

Press Release   Journal Article

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Diet and Depression

A healthy diet shown to help prevent depression.

A recent study from Finland has shown that a healthy diet can prevent severe depression. The study followed 2000 men for 13-20 years and found that those who ate a diet of vegetables, fruits, berries, whole-grains, poultry, fish and low-fat cheese exhibited less symptoms of depression and were at lower risk of becoming depressed later than those who ate more processed meats, manufactured food and sugary desserts and drinks.

PositiveTip: You are what you eat! Eat the best food to feel your best physically and emotionally.