As a young person, it's easy to feel invincible. You're at an age where you're strong, healthy, and full of energy. Unfortunately, that doesn't mean you're exempt from health problems. In fact, there are a number of health challenges facing youth today that are both serious and growing in frequency. Here are the top 5 health challenges facing youth today.
#1 Mental Health Issues
One in five young people aged 13-18 live with a mental health disorder, making mental health the most common type of health issue faced by youth today. Mental health disorders can include everything from anxiety and depression to eating disorders and self-harm. The good news is that mental health disorders are treatable, and there is no shame in seeking help. If you or someone you know is struggling with a mental health disorder, there are resources available to help.
Obesity is another big health challenge facing youth today. In the United States alone, one in three children are considered obese or overweight. Obesity can lead to a number of other health problems down the road, including heart disease, diabetes, and joint problems. Fortunately, there are a number of things that can be done to prevent obesity, such as eating a healthy diet and getting regular exercise.
#3 Substance Abuse
Substance abuse is another major concern when it comes to youth health. Every day, nearly 4500 kids aged 12-17 try smoking for the first time, and more than 1000 kids aged 18-25 start using illicit drugs. Substance abuse can lead to a number of problems, including addiction, poor academic performance, and legal trouble. If you or someone you know is struggling with substance abuse, there is help available.
#4 Sexual Health Issues
Sexual health is an important part of overall health, yet many young people don't get the education they need to make informed choices about their sexual activity. As a result, sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are on the rise among young people. In fact, STIs are now the most commonly reported infectious diseases among youth aged 15-24. If you're sexually active, it's important to get tested regularly and use protection to reduce your risk of contracting an STI.
Bullying is another big challenge facing youth today. One in four kids aged 11-18 have been bullied online, and one in five have been bullied at school. Bullying can have serious consequences for both the bully and the victim, including anxiety, depression, and even suicide. If you or someone you know is being bullied, it's important to reach out for help. There are a number of resources available to both victims and perpetrators of bullying.
While it's easy to feel invincible when you're young, the truth is that youth face a number of serious health challenges today. From mental health disorders to obesity and bullying, these challenges can have a profound impact on both individual young people and society as a whole. Fortunately, there are things that can be done to address each of these challenges. It's up to us as individuals—and as a society—to do what we can to support our youth in meeting these challenges head-on."