Adolescent health and unmet educational needs in many countries, study finds

Researchers say comprehensive and integrated investment in adolescent health, growth and development is vital for the world’s 1.8 billion adolescents. Photo by rawpixel/Pixabay

March 13 (UPI) — Researchers say the world’s 1.8 billion teenagers have more problems with illness, lack of education and general risk than previous generations, even in the United States.

Among 12 indicators used by researchers to examine the health of adolescents in 195 countries, they report in the study published Tuesday in Lancet that between 1990 and 2016, obesity doubled among young people around the world aged 10 to 24 years old, which suggests that one in five teenagers around the world is obese.

The researchers also considered smoking, marriage, injury prevention, childbirth, education, and alcohol consumption, among others. They say the study results suggest more needs to be done to help young people be healthy.

“The study demonstrates both success and failure in adolescent health,” said John Santelli, a Columbia University Population researcher and study author, in a press release. “Health, education and employment systems have not been able to keep up with the changing needs of adolescents and changing demographics.”

For the study, researchers analyzed data from the Global Burden of Diseases, Injuries, and Risk Factors Study 2016, as well as the International Labor Organization, household surveys, and the Barro- Lee on education.

The number of young women who do not have a job or who have not received an education or professional training is three times higher than that of men in the world. While young people in the United States graduate at a high rate, the number of those who do not receive employment or training is much higher than in other countries.

“While there have been great improvements in adolescent health in some countries, the greatest population growth has been in countries where adolescents bear the greatest burden of disease,” said Peter Azzopardi, co- adolescent health officer and lead author of the study.

In the United States, 34% of men drink alcohol, compared to only 13% of women, according to the study. About 9% of young boys and men in America smoked, while only 7% of young girls and women had taken up the habit.

However, the total number of young people who smoke has dropped by 20% since 1990.

Researchers say advances in technology and other factors are responsible for poor overall health outcomes around the world.

“Social and digital media, changing diets, urbanization, armed conflict and migration are some of the forces currently shaping the growth and development of adolescent health, and the world is not following. said George C. Patton, researcher at Murdoch Children’s Research. Institute.

“With a dramatic increase in the number of adolescents growing up in poor countries, global challenges to adolescent health are now greater than 25 years ago. In low-income countries, young people make up around 30 % of the population, but receive less than 2% of global health investments.”

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