Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Bonding with Daughters while Tanning

This is an interesting article: The Tans That Bond. It is about the strong influence that mothers have when they introduce their daughters to tanning in salons.

Researchers asked 227 female students at East State Tennessee University questions in order to determine: how old they were when they started indoor tanning, and who they went with to the tanning salon for the first time.

Researchers found that it was "often" their own mothers (40%) who took their daughters to the tanning salon for the first time. These girls were, on average, 14 years old, rather than 16, the average age when other girls started indoor tanning without a mother's initial introduction. The girls whose mothers introduced them to tanning were "almost five times as likely... to be heavy tanners in college." (I think "heavy tanning" was defined as two or more visits per month to a tanning salon.)

This research reinforces the belief that unhealthy habits are easily transferred from parents to children despite massive amounts of education regarding adverse effects of unhealthy habits. The article states that "the World Health Organization has labeled indoor tanning a class one carcinogen, the same class as tobacco." (Oh my goodness.) Here is another article that discusses the possibility of indoor tanning being addictive.

The article concludes with a thought regarding the messages women transmit to their daughters. This is such a simple message: "sun-kissed" skin is beautiful, and getting it is worth the accompanying (greatly increased) risk of getting skin cancer, but what a powerful and life-changing message that is.


Keely said...

Melanoma took my dad from me...so this drives me crazy! Of course a young girl will do it if her mom says it's ok.

It would be nice if they would set their daughters up for healthy futures...

iamwoman said...

WOW. Unfortunately, I am not surprised;(