Friday September 20, 2019

Cannabis Use Has Lasting Effects on Cognitive Skills in Teenagers Than Alcohol

Moreover, these increased with cannabis use and also were long-lasting compared to alcohol

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cannabis flower marijuana

While both alcohol and marijuana misuse are known to be associated with impairments in learning, memory, attention and decision-making, as well as with lower academic performance, a new study claimed that cannabis use has lasting effects on cognitive skills in teenagers than alcohol.

The findings, led by researchers at Universite de Montreal, showed cannabis affected cognitive functions such as perceptual reasoning, memory recall, working memory and inhibitory control.

Moreover, these increased with cannabis use and also were long-lasting compared to alcohol.

“Increases in cannabis use, but not alcohol consumption, showed additional concurrent and lagged effects on cognitive functions such as perceptual reasoning, memory recall, working memory and inhibitory control,” said Patricia Conrod, from the varsity.

“Of particular concern was the finding that cannabis use was associated with lasting effects on a measure of inhibitory control, which is a risk factor for other addictive behaviours, and might explain why early onset cannabis use is a risk factor for other addictions,” added Jean-Francois G. Morin, doctoral student at Montreal.

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Cannabis more ‘toxic’ to teenage brains than alcohol: Study. Pixabay

“Some of these effects are even more pronounced when consumption begins earlier in adolescence,” Morin added.

For the study, published in the American Journal of Psychiatry, the team followed a sample of 3,826 Canadian high school students from 7th to 10th grade over a period of four years.

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In a context where policies and attitudes regarding substance use are being reconsidered, this research highlights the importance of protecting youth from the adverse effects of consumption through greater investment in drug-prevention programmes.

“While this study did not detect effects of teenage alcohol consumption on cognitive development, the neurotoxic effects may be observable in specific subgroups differentiated based on the level of consumption, gender or age,” Morin said. (IANS)

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No Body Image Oriented Posts For People Under Age 18, Instagram Announces

Facebook-owned Instagram has announced to restrict people under age 18 from viewing posts from celebrity influencers that promote cosmetic surgery and weight-loss products

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New research suggests that Instagram users tend to compose selfies that look attractive and not real. Pixabay

Facebook-owned Instagram has announced to restrict people under age 18 from viewing posts from celebrity influencers that promote cosmetic surgery and various weight-loss products.

Certain posts will be hidden from users under age 18 while others will be removed from Instagram as well as parent company’s platform Facebook, Instagram’s public policy manager Emma Collins said in a statement on Wednesday.

“We want Instagram to be a positive place for everyone that uses it and this policy is part of our ongoing work to reduce the pressure that people can sometimes feel as a result of social media,” Collins was quoted as saying in a report on cbsnews.com.

Social media users including actress Jameela Jamil have long been criticizing influencers like Kim and Khloe Kardashian and Kylie Jenner for promoting fat-loss products.

“If celebs and influencers were actually honest with us about some of these diet/detox products…” Jamil had tweeted in November last year which went viral.

Instagram will remove posts entirely if it “makes a miraculous claim about certain diet or weight loss products, and is linked to a commercial offer such as a discount code”.

Instagram, Body Image, teenagers, posts, restrict
Social media users including actress Jameela Jamil have long been criticizing influencers like Kim and Khloe Kardashian and Kylie Jenner for promoting fat-loss products. Pixabay

The updated policy is part of Instagram’s work to “reduce the pressure that people can sometimes feel as a result of social media,a said Collins.

Earlier, in an interview with the London Evening Standard, Collins said Instagram worked with external experts to make this change without ruining the spirit of the platform.

“We want Instagram to be a positive place for everyone,” she said.

Several studies in the past have suggested that Instagram may be a contributing factor to eating disorders and depression among teenagers.

A recent study published in the journal Pediatrics showed that children who view unhealthy snack images on social media platforms like Instagram are likely to consume more calories from unhealthy snacks.

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“The results are supported by celebrity endorsement data, which show unhealthy food endorsements increase children’s unhealthy food intake, but healthy food endorsements have little or no effect on healthy food intake,” said researcher Anna Coate from the University of Liverpool in Britain.

The study was conducted with the aim of examining the effect of social media marketing of snack foods (healthy and unhealthy), via vloggers’ Instagram pages, on children’s snack intake.

Children in the group that viewed the unhealthy snack images consumed 32 per cent more calories from unhealthy snacks specifically and 26 per cent more calories in total — from healthy and unhealthy snacks — compared with children who saw the non-food images, the findings showed.

The results suggest that the marketing of unhealthy foods, via vloggers’ Instagram pages, increases children’s immediate energy intake. (IANS)