Well, what is it? Healthy Australian youth or not?
So, is the government correct in its analysis of young people in Australia: that they are healthier than previous generations?
Or, is Dr. Eckersley correct in his studies that Australian youth are not healthier than past generations of young people?
From the information provided by these two websites (The Australian and The Canberra Times), I can’t really decide who to believe; that is, based on scientific data and medical studies on the health of youth in Australia. There isn't any data or studies to look over based on 20 years of research. At least, as presented within these two articles. And, according to what I've found in my research.
The website of Dr. Eckersley and Australia21 doesn’t provide much data either. Possibly, Dr. Eckersley’s study will be published soon in a scientific journal, by Australia21, or by the government in order to add more information to this discussion.
However, based on other studies performed in Australia and in other industrialized countries, I would tend to believe the comments of Dr. Eckersley (unhealthy youths) rather than the Australian government report (healthy youths).
Some general information is provided on the Australia 21 website “Human Potential and Young People.” [Please note that a download link is missing on this website, but I have asked for it to be added, as of 9/26/08. According to Australia 21 (9/28/08), the web page is not missing the link. The link, instead, is located at: "What's New." Then, select the link for "The health and wellbeing of young Australians, report by Richard Eckersley." Or, do directly to this pdf file.
Dr. Eckersley is a founding member of Australia 21, a think-tank. Its website states that the organization was formed in “2001 as a non-profit group to fill a national need for fresh and independent thinking about large and unsolved problems that confront us in the new century." He is currently a member of its Board of Directors.
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William Atkins completed educational degrees in science (bachelor’s in physics and mathematics) from Illinois State University (Normal, United States) and business (master’s in entrepreneurship and bachelor’s in industrial relations) from Western Illinois University