Health and well-being
This generation of young people is the largest ever: 43% of the world’s population is under the age of 25. European youth are healthier than previous generations but face new threats to health: those related to unhealthy lifestyles and structural and proximal causes of illness. Health is recognised an important area of cross sectorial youth policy and should be understood as an instrument for social inclusion, empowerment and active citizenship of young people. The policy sheets below give a succinct introduction on youth health and related topics and inform about related challenges and policy directions.
Young people’s ‘wellbeing’ must be considered and it helps to take a ‘life-course’ perspective; this recognises that:
• early childhood development affects adolescent health
• puberty is not only a biological change for adolescents but is also a change in social role
• societies and their cultures shape health choices (such as access and use of health services)