Many health articles focus on the problems associated with age. The likes of heart disease, strokes and life threatening illnesses. These are not typically diseases or problems that young people can relate to or suffer from.
Health problems in young people are more intrinsically linked to their lifestyle. The leading cause of mortality in young people is road traffic accidents, not health problems. Illnesses and diseases are not high on the list for mortality, but that doesn’t mean they don’t have a profound effect.
In this post we’re looking at some of the biggest health problems that young adults and teenagers face.
Smoking rates among young people are dropping. However, over 20% of young people aged between 18-29 smoked last year. That is a huge pressure on the lungs and respiratory systems of our young people. It is increasing the cancer rates and respiratory diseases among the young.
Our young population is the least healthy in decades, with obesity rates tripling since the 1970s. With nearly 30% of young people now considered overweight, we are reaching an epidemic. Fast food, processed meals and snacks are heavily to blame here. In addition to that, exercise and activity rates are down significantly.
As explained previously, obesity rates are higher than ever. Naturally, this leads to heart problems, diabetes and even cancer. This is partly powered by low levels of activity in today’s teenagers and young people. As a nation, we are falling well short of the national targets for exercise in teenagers and young adults.
Depression and anxiety
Mental health problems are a huge problem in today’s youth. With awareness of these difficult topics improving, it’s becoming easier to identify and diagnose depression and anxiety. Suicide is the third biggest cause of death among young adults. This is spurred by hidden levels of depression that often start as young as 14 years old. There are countless factors involved here including domestic problems and trouble related to puberty.
Sexually transmitted diseases
Young adults are the most sexually active age group in the country. Awareness and wide use of condoms is increasing, yet millions are still having unprotected sex. Regular STD testing is essential for any young adult having unprotected sex. Sexually transmitted diseases can include HIV and often leads to deeper health issues.
Alcohol and drug related problems
The alcohol and drug culture among young adults is spreading and growing at an alarming rate. Teenagers and young adults are exposed to alcohol and drugs early and dangerous addictions can take hold. There are a number of health issues here. First of all, there is the immediate damage caused by reduced inhibitions. Thousands are killed and injured as a result of alcohol or drug related activities. In the long term, excessive use can lead to bigger health problems. Liver damage, anemia and cardiovascular disease can all occur as a result of alcohol consumption.
Young people may not fall victim to the ‘big three’: heart disease, strokes and cancer. However, they have their own set of health problems that grow as a result of their lifestyle. If you fall into this category, be aware of the dangers and exercise caution. Stay healthy!