How serious is health to the youth?

How serious is health to the youth?

Young people tend to engage in risky behaviour that may negatively affect their health. They are often unaware of the damage that comes with risky behaviours such as smoking, drinking alcohol, eating junk food and not being physically active. 

Youth is an important period to enforce healthy living because it is a time when young people go through a lot of physical changes.  Teenagers can be affected by poor hygiene, poor sanitation, bad habits and diseases as well as behavioural risks.  Health institutions need to ensure that they train personnel as well as provide professional services so that young people get exposed to the best health care available for them.

Helping the youth make decisions that will positively affect their health and well-being for the future should be every parent’s responsibility.  A variety of means such as schools, youth programmes and training can be used to reach young people.  The youth should be involved in dealing with local and global health problems which affect them and the community at large.  Poor nutritional decisions, obesity, eating disorders, HIV/Aids, STIs and cardiovascular disease are some of the health problems that affect the youth today.

Adolescent eating disorders such as binge eating, anorexia and bulimia are big concerns.  It is important to raise the awareness about eating disorders by breaking the stereotypes that are associated with these disorders.

Parents can help their teenagers lead healthier lifestyles by looking for ways to make their favourite dishes healthier, encouraging healthy eating habits as well as getting involved in physical activities.  The goal for most overweight teens is to reduce their weight gain – however they should not go on a weight reduction diet without consulting a dietician/heath professional first.

Gert Coetzee, Gert Coetzee, Pharmacist and Diet pioneer who founded The Diet Everyone Talks About shares some hints and tips on how we can all contribute towards helping the youth take their health more seriously.

  • Provide care and protection for all young people through a supportive and safe environment.
  • Teach young people about the importance of being on a healthy diet as well as being physically active.
  • Encourage young people not to smoke or indulge in alcohol and teach them about the dangers that come with these risky behaviours.
  • Give young people access to sex education – including information about contraceptives and STI’s.
  • Promoting adolescent reproductive health education counselling services and health policies.
  • Make healthy eating fun and even a family hobby or tradition where the family cooks together.

You can try this amazing recipe from “Eat Slim/Eet Slim” recipe book.

Stir-Fried Pork Strips

Portions: 4


800 KJ


15 ml Canola oil / olive oil

500 g Pork, cut into strips

1 large Onion, sliced

3 Carrots cut into thin strips

200 g Mushrooms, sliced

200 g Baby marrows, sliced

1 Green pepper, pitted and chopped

15 ml each Vinegar, soya sauce and lemon juice

To taste:  Salt and freshly ground black pepper


  1. Heat oil in a heavy-bottomed pan.
  2. Stir fry pork and onion until onion becomes translucent.
  3. Add the rest of the vegetables and stir-fry five minutes.
  4. Add the rest of the ingredients and slowly fry for three minutes.

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