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REVIEW ARTICLE
Year : 2014  |  Volume : 140  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 185-208

Health behaviours & problems among young people in India: Cause for concern & call for action


Department of Epidemiology, Centre for Public Health, WHO Collaborating Centre for Injury Prevention & Safety Promotion, National Institute of Mental Health & Neuro Sciences, Bangalore, India

Correspondence Address:
Gopalkrishna Gururaj
Professor & Head, Department of Epidemiology Centre for Public Health, WHO Collaborating Centre for Injury Prevention and Safety Promotion National Institute of Mental Health & Neuro Sciences, Bangalore 560 029
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


PMID: 25297351

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The young people in the age group of 10-24 yr in India constitutes one of the precious resources of India characterized by growth and development and is a phase of vulnerability often influenced by several intrinsic and extrinsic factors that affect their health and safety. Nearly 10-30 per cent of young people suffer from health impacting behaviours and conditions that need urgent attention of policy makers and public health professionals. Nutritional disorders (both malnutrition and over-nutrition), tobacco use, harmful alcohol use, other substance use, high risk sexual behaviours, stress, common mental disorders, and injuries (road traffic injuries, suicides, violence of different types) specifically affect this population and have long lasting impact. Multiple behaviours and conditions often coexist in the same individual adding a cumulative risk for their poor health. Many of these being precursors and determinants of non communicable diseases (NCDs) including mental and neurological disorders and injuries place a heavy burden on Indian society in terms of mortality, morbidity, disability and socio-economic losses. Many health policies and programmes have focused on prioritized individual health problems and integrated (both vertical and horizontal) coordinated approaches are found lacking. Healthy life-style and health promotion policies and programmes that are central for health of youth, driven by robust population-based studies are required in India which will also address the growing tide of NCDs and injuries.


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