It’s a rough world for any teenager out there today with school, extra curricular activities, not to mention trying to fit in and steer clear of all the peer pressure. There are so many different issues they’re faced with today it’s hard to know where to begin. Let’s take a look at two major teen health issues that are facing real teenagers today; our bodies and sex.
There are several different types of eating disorders that teenagers are faced with today. Of course you have the common ones known as anorexia and bulimia, but teens are also faced with an ever increasing problem with obesity and over eating. Let’s look at how eating habits have affected teens today.
Believe it or not teen obesity began to show a drastic increase during the 1990s and as fast food becomes more readily available, combined with hectic and busy lifestyles, the percentage of overweight teens increases almost daily. Obesity is defined as an excessive accumulation of body fat which can result in individuals being at least twenty percent heavier than the recommended body weight. The concern is that as teens become more overweight this eating trend will follow into adulthood and they will become more at risk for heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure and some forms of cancer. Obesity can also weaken your overall physical health and is known to shorten ones life span.
Anorexia and Bulimia
On the flip side of overeating we have other teen issues like anorexia and bulimia. Anorexia is a form of starvation where the person will eat less and less until their body simply will not function because it lacks nutrients, vitamins, and basically everything it needs to live. People with anorexia have an extreme fear of weight gain and for teenagers who are looking to “fit in” and have the “perfect” body, this can become a serious problem.
Bulimia has to do with binging and purging; eating and eating because of guilt or something stressful in their life and then immediately making themselves throw up what they have just eaten, or feeling the need to exercise excessively to lose the weight they have just gained. Again it is usually the same issue with teens wanting to fit the stereotypical body type and fit in with the cool kids. And although both disorders are more commonly seen in girls, teenage boys have been known to suffer from these issues as well.
This is another big area when it comes to teen health issues. The teenage years are, for most, experimental years and the time when boys and girls are trying to grow into their bodies. Sex has become more prevalent in teens today than it was back in the “olden” days and it seems that they are more aware of dangers of sexually transmitted diseases or teen pregnancy. And the whole idea of everybody’s doing it doesn’t seem to help with this teen health issue. Teenagers are constantly bombarded with sexual content on television, sexual advertisements on billboards and much more. The likelihood of a teen under the age of fifteen having sex has increased by almost fifty percent. The good news is that while teen sex may be preventable, the health risks involved can be reduced through communication. If parents will address the issue instead of ignoring it they can at least help keep their keeps from engaging in risky sexual behavior.
This was just a quick look at two major teen health issues out there. There are several other health issues that teens go through every year and that need to be addressed by parents during this critical time in their life.