Aristotle said, “Good habits formed in youth make all the difference.”
Habits have become particularly important in today’s times, especially for adolescents and young adults.
The Gen-Z today are equipped with comforts of all kinds, their curious minds have diverse options to explore. From delicious burgers to richly fermented alcohols, It is no more difficult to lay a hand on the best of best and the worst of worsts.
According to research, Gen-Z experiences high levels of stress and anxiety, and they are hesitant to express their stress and anxiety to their peers. Gen-Z is on record to be the most stressed, anxious, and depressed (as well as the most isolated) generation of all time.
However, with great options comes great responsibility.
Here below are the top health challenges faced by Gen-Z in India. Please seek professional advice if you're experiencing any of the following, listed below:
Past years have witnessed a rise in health challenges faced by Gen-Z. There have been unintentional road accidents, some in the influence of alcohol, others being a result of rash driving. In fact, according to WHO, unintentional injuries have been the leading cause of death and disability among adolescents.
But the threats don’t stop at the unknown. Other factors have sneaked into our lives and are pushing us towards poor health.
Depression and anxiety are yet another health challenge faced by Gen-Z. Take, for example, social media platforms.
The age of social media demands one to create an identity, not just out there in the real world, but even in the virtual world. The identity crisis in youth is a big factor driving them towards anxiety and depression. Unbelievably, poor mental health accounts for 16% of the global burden of disease and injury in people aged 10–19 years.
When the sense of lack and recognition prevails, youths are drowned in loneliness and lack of confidence. This is when the high experience of life through alcohol and substance abuse becomes a charming way out of their unfulfilled experience of life. However, barely do they realise at the tender age that it is a step toward a steeper fall.
Obesity and lack of activity are the most common health challenges faced by Gen-Z. The messing up of lifestyle in adolescence and early adulthood moulds them into disease-prone individuals. Today, lifestyle-related conditions such as obesity, hypertension, diabetes, stroke and heart failure are rising like anything.
Can you imagine that 1 out of 6 individuals, in the age group of 10-19 is overweight [WHO]? It's ironic that despite the innumerable options available today for keeping our body fit and active, only 1 out of 5 individuals meet the standard physical activity guidelines globally [WHO]
It’s disheartening that not just are we missing the basics of a good lifestyle, but we are even feeding our bodies wrong. Inappropriate or insufficient nutrition among adolescents and young adults is impairing their immunity and making them disease prone. Sadly, in 2019, Iron deficiency Anemia was the second leading cause of death and disability amongst adolescents [WHO].
These are just a few of the many problems Gen-Z are struggling through. Their battles are complex and multidimensional, with many parties and factors at play. It is impossible to exert control over external factors, but that doesn’t mean that we cannot fight back and own this game.
The change can begin with our awakening. It's time to raise our awareness of what can be managed and what needs to be altered for achieving a better, if not the best, state of mind and body.
Gen-Z is our next generation of leaders, activists, and politicians; many of them have already assumed adult responsibilities. Healthcare leaders, educators, and employers all play a role in supporting Gen Z's behavioural health. This investment could be viewed as a down payment on our future, with social and economic benefits lasting for years.
Similarly, investing in a health plan can be a wise investment in avoiding future health problems.
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