Young Adults and Disease!

by Steven Carney on August 30, 2012

Although most young adults from teens to 30s believe they are disease free, there are growing health problems for those early decades. Some health issues like high BP, heart disease and diabetes are more common but have few or no early symptoms. That means most young adults are unaware their health may be declining. Other problems for that age group have more obvious symptoms, such as gallstones or stroke, hitting more young adults then before.

Here are some of the growing health problems that are more common in younger people:

  • Heart disease
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Cancer
  • Stroke
  • Gout
  • Gallstones

Many health experts now say that rising weight/obesity and related health problems is creating a new generation of teens and young adults who may be less healthy than their parents. They may even have a shorter life span! If true, this will represent a troubling backward slide, one that will be costly in dollars and social terms. It’s possible that aging parents will have to care for their sick and disabled children!

Why it’s happening

The proliferation of fast foods, junk foods and fried foods, along with a high (and toxic) sugar intake are big contributors to the growing epidemic of young-adult health problems. A lack of healthy activity/too much sitting also contributes. Together, you have a recipe for early, chronic health problems.

All those fast and junk foods lack healthy micronutrients (vitamins, minerals, etc.), and nutritional balance, causing metabolic problems. Processed foods, sugar and meats also contribute to weight gain and systemic inflammation, which in turn harms organ function. That sets the stage for health problems and life-long chronic disease.

In many cases, atherosclerosis, stroke, cancer and gallstones are hitting younger generations with a higher frequency than before. Again, it’s largely due to lifestyle choices, including unhealthy nutrition, weight gain/obesity, smoking, tanning beds, etc.

One post I wrote a while ago was about the rise in heart disease among young adults, ages 18-35. As many as 80% of younger adults killed in car accidents have early heart disease and atherosclerosis, which can also raise BP and cause heart attacks and stroke (a brain attack). In fact, stroke is also rising among young adults from teens to 40s, increasing by over 30% in recent years.

I also write a post about rising skin cancer and melanoma rates among young people. There is a 6-fold increase in melanoma rates for younger adults, ages 18-39. Women’s skin cancer rates are rising even faster! Breast cancer can also be more difficult in younger people, ages 25-34, with more aggressive forms and lower survival rates.

It’s time to change!

As a country, we need to live better and lead by example! Children learn from their parents and family, and family lifestyle needs lots of improvement. The proliferation of junk, fast, and processed foods is a huge problem because those convenience foods are often unhealthy (some people think healthy food costs more, it’s not true. For what you get, whole foods will have more micro nutrients and fiber, leaving you more full. A handful of nuts will do more for your health and energy than a handful of chips or a candy bar)!

We need to eat more whole, unprocessed foods, cut sugar drastically, and become more active several days a week. If younger adults take on that challenge, they will have better health and weight well into adulthood!

Questions or comments? Drop me a line using the e-mail icon in the upper right. You can also follow me on Twitter and other social media. Remember, if you have concerns about your health, I’m here to help! I can offer individualized suggestions and support if you would like to improve your health or life issues!

Helpful links (Some of the stats are shocking):

http://healthyliving.msn.com/diseases/diabetes/7-diseases-that-strike-younger-than-you-think

http://www.endsicknessnow.com/shock-younger-people-age-18-35-have-heart-disease

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/09/110901093657.htm

http://www.endsicknessnow.com/younger-adults-are-having-more-skin-cancer

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-444823/Teens-today-history-healthy-parents.html

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/08/120824205733.htm

I found this insightful summary about junk foods and how they affect your health and mood:

http://shine.yahoo.com/healthy-living/7-surprising-ways-junk-food-miserable-164600488.html

© 2012 by Steve Carney/End Sickness Now

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