Adolescent Lifestyle Behaviors and Suicide

Adolescent Lifestyle Behaviors and Suicide

A new cross-national study of 45 countries (BMC Global and Public Health, 2024) examined the role of adolescent lifestyle risk behaviors and suicide thoughts and behaviors (STBs).

This study strongly supported that the clustering of lifestyle risk behaviors were associated with an increased risk of adolescent STBs.

Four clusters of lifestyle risk behaviors were identified, namely healthy lifestyles, insufficient intake of vegetables and fruit, frequent consumption of soft drinks and fast food, and tobacco smoking and alcohol drinking clusters.

Compared with the healthy lifestyle cluster, the insufficient vegetables and fruit cluster was associated with 43% and 42% higher odds of suicidal ideation and plan, followed by the tobacco smoking and alcohol drinking cluster (26% for ideation and 20% for plan).

The frequent soft drink and fast food consumption cluster was associated with 2.85-fold increased odds of suicidal attempt, followed by the insufficient vegetables and fruits cluster (2.43-fold) and smoking and alcohol cluster (1.18-fold).

The authors concluded the study results support the need to initiate modifiable-lifestyle-oriented suicide prevention strategies.

These findings indicate that multi-behavior interventions such as evidence-based Prevention Plus Wellness programs that promote a cluster of healthy lifestyle behaviors, including physical activity, healthy nutrition, and avoiding alcohol and tobacco use are most likely to prevent suicide thoughts and behaviors among adolescents.

Read the full study:

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