Football is kinda fucked, isn’t it? We’ve known for a while now that letting your kids play football before their brains have had a chance to fully develop heightens their chances of being diagnosed later in life with chronic traumatic encephalopathy (or CTE), which has been linked to dementia, ALS and even suicide.
But in case that wasn’t enough to scare you off of signing them up for Pop Warner, a new study published in Translational Psychiatry has found that children who play football before the age of 12 are more likely to become depressed, as well as develop cognitive issues by age 50:
“Players who started earlier than age 12 were twice as likely to have ‘clinically meaningful impairments in reported behavioral regulation, apathy and executive function’ and were more than three times as likely to have clinically elevated depression scores.”
Because a child’s brain is still developing, repeated impacts — even impacts that don’t cause concussions — can permanently alter how neurological pathways form and then set, which lead to these impairments later in life.
Basically, don’t turn your kid’s brain to mush before they decide for themselves if they want to turn their brains to mush. That’s what freshman year of college is for anyway.
A few of the other things we learned about our bodies today:
- When it comes to weight loss, your brain is your body’s worst enemy.
- Speaking of weight loss, there’s research that suggests taking off up to two weeks from your diet can boost how much weight you’re able to lose.
- Your belief in conspiracy theories (or lack thereof) has everything to do with partisanship.
- There’s science that backs up the idea that you love your pets as much as — if not more than — your fellow humans.
- Alcohol is fucking up the gene that regulates your body’s cholesterol levels.
- In today’s “no, duh” news, Nerf guns cause an increase in eye-related injuries, so tell your kids to stop shooting each other in the face.