The long-term effects of being bullied by other kids are worse than being abused by an adult, new research shows.

Among a large group of children in England, those who were bullied were 60 percent more likely to have mental health problems as adults than were those who suffered physical, emotional or sexual abuse. And among a large group of children in the United States, the risk of mental health problems was nearly four times greater for victims of bullying than for victims of child abuse.

The findings, published in the journal Lancet Psychiatry, underscore the need to take bullying more seriously as a public health problem. “Being bullied has similar and in some cases worse long-term adverse effects on young adults’ mental health than being maltreated,” the study authors wrote. “Governmental efforts have focused almost exclusively on public policy to address family maltreatment; much less attention and resources [have] been paid to bullying. This imbalance requires attention.”

For instance, the English children who were bullied were 70 percent more likely to experience depression or practice some form of self-harm than were children who suffered child abuse. The American children were nearly five times more likely to be diagnosed with anxiety if they were bullied than if they were abused.

 

Easing diabetes risk with beverages

Substituting just one serving a day of water or unsweetened tea or coffee for one serving of a sugar-sweetened soft drink or dairy beverage can significantly reduce the incidence of Type 2 diabetes, a new study has found.

The study, in Diabetologia, used data on diet and diabetes incidence from more than 25,000 British men and women ages 40 to 79. Researchers tracked consumption of soft drinks, tea and coffee, fruit juice and sweetened milk drinks like hot chocolate and milkshakes.

Almost everyone habitually drank something sweet, usually soft drinks or sweetened tea or coffee. After adjusting for body mass index, calorie intake and a range of diet, behavioral and socioeconomic factors, the researchers found that one serving a day of either a soft drink or sweetened milk drink increased the risk of diabetes by 14 percent to 27 percent.

Each additional 5 percent of total calories from sweetened drinks raised the risk of diabetes by 18 percent. Drinking sweetened tea or coffee did not change the risk for diabetes, and consuming those beverages without sugar lowered the risk. After an adjustment for all the variables, fruit juice had no effect.

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