Young Americans may be enjoying their fast-living lifestyle a little too much.
A new study conducted by British medical journal, The Lancet, says Americans ages 10-24 lead all high-income nations in pot-smoking and are not far behind in drinking alcohol. More alarming, the study claims the U.S. also has the highest mortality rate among the same age group.
The research, part of the journal’s “Adolescent Health Series” that studies youth trends among 27 wealthy nations, gives new meaning to the phrase “live fast, die young.”
Kids in America are 20 times more likely to face a violent death than their wealthy worldwide contemporaries. The study claims that 17 out of every 100,000 U.S. teenage boys between the ages of 15 and 19 will die a violent death. Switzerland and Israel have the second highest rate of 4 per 100,000.
Combining those numbers with traffic accidents – the No. 1 cause of death for American teens – gives the U.S. the dubious honor of having the highest mortality rate.
While just behind Ireland and Austria in binge drinking, “The drinking patterns of USA adolescents are catching up,” The Lancet writes. The figures reflect that many American kids are drinking illegally underage. Many European countries have drinking ages set at 18 or 16, while the United States’ is 21.
Despite stricter marijuana laws than many high-income nations, the U.S. was the undisputed king of cannabis, out-smoking Canada, Spain and France.
The results of the study indicate a link between a hard-living lifestyle and an early death for many young Americans.
The one bright spot for American kids came in The Lancet piece “Health of the World’s Adolescents,” which said U.S. children ages 13-15 exercised more than their global counterparts. This information is surprising given the study also claims one-third of American boys are obese, an epidemic problem according to The Lancet.