Did you know that 17.4 percent of teenagers in the U.S. in the ages 12 to 19 are overweight? Adult Type 2 diabetes and heart disease are now being reported among teenagers, all the more reason for teenagers to be vigilant with their health. Moreover, sexually active teenagers face even more health risks than those that do not engage in sexual activity yet. Alcohol and substance abuse and smoking, eating disorders, depression, and sexually transmitted diseases are some of the most common health issues among teenagers.

To stay healthy, a teenager should avoid smoking any type of tobacco product. Another health advice is to avoid second hand cigarette smoke. A tobacco user teen is more likely to get heart disease, cancer or stroke in his/her adult age compared to nonuser. Avert alcohol and substance abuse. It usually starts with experimentation until the drug grabs hold of your mind and you become addicted.

Perhaps more common to teenage girls, a teen wants skinny body like ones she sees on the media. This perverted addiction to media leads to eating disorder, anorexia (intense fear of being fat) and bulimia (vomiting to abort the digestion of food ingested), which poses serious health problem among 1% of American teens; it can kill. If you have symptoms of anorexia and bulimia, don’t ignore it. Ask help from your parents or any authority you trust to help you quit this potentially deadly habit. Although support groups can help; however, kicking this deadly habit may require seeing a trained therapist.

Another teen health problem to watch is depression. It can be triggered by something as simple as not making the football team or the cheer leading squad. If you feel lazy, sad, and sometimes hopeless; or worse, if you feel suicidal, then you might be suffering from depression. This is a serious problem that you need to address immediately by talking to your parents or your guidance councilor. Talking to your peers about it may not be as good a solution because they may not know on how to handle depression, worse if they themselves are suffering depression too. Talk to your parents, teachers, or any authority you feel comfortable confiding with.

Sexually transmitted disease (STD) is a problem among sexually active teenagers. Some STDs such as Hepatitis can even be contracted by mere kissing. Teenagers already active in sex must visit their school nurse’s office and ask him/her the repercussions of sexual intercourse. If your parents are open to this discussion, you should talk to them about it too. Obtain brochures and pamphlets on safe sex to educate yourself everything you need to know about the health issues of sex. Teenage pregnancy, which in itself has emotional, social, and health ramifications, is a great possibility among sexually active teenagers.

Perhaps the best way to stay healthy and fit is to maintain a habit of good, well balanced diet, and exercise. Stay at bay from eating fatty foods and trans-fatty acids to avoid problems such as diabetes and obesity leading to heart problems. Joining sports and other outdoor activity is a fun way to exercise and to stay fit.

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