Updates on Adolescent Health from HealthyPeople.gov

An updated webpage from Healthy People 2020 (2021) presents an Overview, Objectives, Interventions & Resources and National Snapshots of Adolescent Health.

The Healthy People 2020 national goal for adolescent health is to “Improve the healthy development, health, safety, and well-being of adolescents and young adults (AYAs)”.

By way of an overview, adolescents (ages 10 to 17) and young adults (ages 18 to 25) make up 22% of the United States population. The behavioral patterns established during these developmental periods help determine young people’s current health status and their risk for developing chronic diseases during adulthood. 

Although adolescence and young adulthood are generally healthy times of life, some important health and social problems either start or peak during these years. Examples include: 

  • Mental disorders
  • Substance use
  • Smoking/nicotine use
  • Nutrition and weight conditions
  • Sexually transmitted infections, including human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)
  • Teen and unintended pregnancies
  • Homelessness
  • Academic problems and dropping out of school
  • Homicide
  • Suicide
  • Motor vehicle collisions

This recently updated page on adolescent health highlights the need for integrated programs, policies and approaches to cost-effectively address multiple health problems facing US adolescents and young adults, including substance use, mental disorders and chronic disease risk behaviors like poor nutrition and physical inactivity, among others.

Positive youth development programs, including those that promote pro-social and wellness habits like physical activity and sports participation, health breakfast and food consumption, getting adequate sleep, and practicing strategies to control stress and improve self-image are needed to help youth and young adults avoid common risk behaviors and develop the knowledge, confidence and skills to improve both mental and physical health and well-being.

Learn more: https://www.healthypeople.gov/2020/topics-objectives/topic/Adolescent-Health

More about healthy youth guidelines: https://preventionpluswellness.com/pages/healthy-lifestyle-guidelines-for-youth-and-young-adult-goal-setting

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