More than 1.2 billion people live in Africa and approximately 41% of the African population is under the age of 15. Although many people think millennials make up a large portion of African population, they are actually less than 30% of the population according to the 2017 estimates by the African Development Bank. Africans aged 15 and below make up 41% of the continent’s population. Those below 19 years old are at 51%.
African Millennials are the most digital native citizens and their acquisition of health knowledge is no longer limited to physical sources. The internet and social media have become a powerful tool to educate and influence millennials behavioral patterns in health. Although African millennials think they are in their prime of life, in reality they are at a vulnerable age for some health related issues.
What are some the health issues African millennials need look out for? And what can they do about it?
You’re At Risk For Obesity
Obesity is longer a western condition, unforeseen problems in the continent are leading to a growing risk of obesity among the African millennials. Lookout for potential problems such as insomnia, eating too much and stress that could contribute to weight gain. Obesity that goes unchecked changes how the body processes food, maintain weight and affects other organs in the body.
Some of these changes are irreversible that’s why awareness should start early. Millennials have to eat better and exercise more not to be obese compared to past generations possibly due to lifestyle, environmental and other factors.
Chances of Getting a Stroke Are Higher
The obesity problem in the continent comes with an increased risk of stroke among African millennials. Too much body fat contribute to high blood pressure (Hypertension), high cholesterol can lead to heart disease and Type 2 diabetes. If you cannot be able to control your weight, talk to your nutritionist or eat healthy African foods. Millennials high rates of untreated high blood pressure, diabetes and obesity are risk factors for stroke.
Sexually Transmitted diseases Are Here to Stay
More than ever STIs are on the rise among African millennials who engage in unprotected sex with multiple partners. Today’s youth didn’t witness the AIDS epidemic but are more likely to view HIV as a manageable disease. Sexually active millennials are willing to take the dangerous risk of engaging in unprotected intercourse. If you decide to engage in sex, you should be tested at least once a year for sexually transmitted infections because the symptoms can go unnoticed.
Go Easy on Binge Drinking
One of the reasons why many young people forego the use of condoms is the not well though judgment that comes with binge drinking. If you are worried about your alcohol intake, here are top effects of alcohol on your body. If alcohol use begins to affect your performance at school, work or home, look for help.
Tech Can Affect Your Health
Many health issues African millennials are facing compared to older generation come up from growing up with technology. Spending too much time on your phone or device lead to a sedentary lifestyle. According to research, there is an established relationship between increased video gaming & TV and obesity.
Too much use of technology usage can lead to depression, social isolation, lack of activity and high intake of junk food that contribute to weigh gain. In addition, working long hours sitting at a computer desk can lead to bad posture a major contributor to back pain. Staring down at a phone for long hours can lead to ‘text neck’ which research shows can lead to spinal problems.
Stress is a Killer
Compared to the older generation most millennials have the highest stress levels. Although young people have a reputation of being lazy, they actually work for long hours and go through a lot of job stress. Depression and anxiety are also increasing among the millennials possibly because of increased society pressures for perfection. If you have any symptoms of suicidal thoughts, anxiety or depression, talk to a health provider.