“It is health that is the real wealth and not pieces of silver and gold.”
– Mahatma Gandhi
Health crises have been on the rise among all age groups. Everyday we are being greatly affected by the changing environmental and social factors. And the lack of proper healthcare systems in most economies, especially the developing nations, doesn’t help.
We are not the only ones concerned.
In 2015, the United Nations set 17 Goals to achieve Sustainable Development in the world. One of them is Good Health and Well-Being, which aims to ensure healthy lives and well-being for all, at all ages.
In total, 13 targets have been set out by the UN to promote and execute the same. They include achieving universal health coverage, improving early warning systems for global health risks, etc.
Youth have a big role to play here. Not only we are the leaders of tomorrow, but we can undertake these targets and make a difference today. It’s our chance to act as catalysts to the current scenario, towards a healthier and sustainable future.
So, do you agree that it’s time to start caring for a healthier world? Then check these 4 upcoming Health Crises and some preventive measures you can take to deal with them!
1. Cardiovascular Diseases
Due to the changing lifestyle and environmental conditions, cardiovascular diseases and heart issues are one of the major threats to good health and wellbeing among young people. These are triggered by high blood pressure and a stagnant lifestyle, apart from genetic causes.
Stress also plays a crucial factor in contributing to the build-up of several heart diseases.
The best way to prevent these diseases is to introduce a change in the hectic lifestyle, with regular exercise and healthy eating habits.
Obesity is a form of malnutrition which has serious consequences, influencing the health and well-being of individuals.
You can think that obesity is caused by consuming more calorific energy than you burn. However, it is a much more complex and deep-rooted condition. It is triggered not only just by one’s eating habits, but also by genetic disorders, and even due to environmental and lifestyle factors.
In a way, the world is making us obese, and it’s up to us to fight it!
The long working hours which are common nowadays, the availability of junk food at a cheaper price when compared to healthy food, the comfort of getting an Uber everywhere, instead of walking a bit. All of this contributes to obesity.
High stress level, for instance, leads to the release of stress hormone Cortisol, which in turn triggers the release of fatty acids, relocating them and increasing the appetite.
Changing your habits to live a healthier routine – with a balanced diet and exercises – will help. However, preventing obesity can be a challenge for people who have medical and genetic conditions. Hence, seeking medical advice from certified doctors at the initial stage, to rule out the possibility of any medical risk is also very recommended.
3. Mental Health
Mental Health has been a taboo in the society since time immemorial, but it’s past time to address it. Young people’s mental health is a worsening health crisis, according to Mary O’Hara, an awards winning social issues writer and author.
It has been termed as a ‘silent catastrophe’, because of the stigma associated with it. According to the NHS’ report of 2018, almost 400,000 children and young people aged 18 and under are in contact with health service for mental health problems.
Anxiety and depression have been prevalent in people under 25 years of age due to innumerable reasons, and the lack of effective treatment has made suicide one of the major causes of death in the age group.
Seeking medical help and talking about it are ways through which the mental health of the youth can be nurtured carefully. But we can all play a role.
Noticing warning signs and behavioral changes in the people around us can help in acknowledging and addressing a problem before it’s too late.
4. Environmental Quality
The levels of pollution and deteriorating conditions of living rise every day, especially in developing countries like India. For that, it has made Environmental Quality one of the biggest upcoming health crisis in the world.
In fact, today roughly a quarter of all human disease and death in the world can be attributed to something that the World Health Organisation (WHO) defines as environmental factors, broadly.
They include not just environmental pollution, but also unsafe drinking water, poor sanitation and hygiene, workplace hazards, industrial accidents, climate change, poor land use practices, and poor natural resource management.
Innovating and inventing sustainable and renewable sources of energy can reduce environmental pollution. Developing the health sectors of economies globally can help in reducing the risk factors associated with the diminishing environmental quality of the 21st century.
The youth of the world is taking initiative by promoting healthy environmental practices that promote sustainable development.
A healthier world can only be achieved if the youth takes initiative to acknowledge these upcoming health crises.
“Never before in history has innovation offered promise of so much to so many in so short a time”
– Bill Gates
The points you just read about threaten the health and well-being of the masses, and it’s time we all carry out effective measures to ensure that they are being adequately addressed and managed.
It’s no longer just about our health, but about the health of generations to come.
If you want to contribute to a healthier world, you can check for a position in one our Global Volunteer projects!
Malawika is a Mass Communication student from Delhi. She is an astrophile, passionate about Stephen Hawking and Carl Sagan, and loves to listen to the Arctic Monkeys, her favorite band. Find her at her happiest while exploring new cities and justifying her love for the color orange!