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How Bad is the Lifestyle of Youngsters in India Today?

Overweight and obesity are growing problems among the youth. According to a UNODC survey, around 3.0 per cent of males were overweight and 3.3% were obese in 2012. Common substances such as tobacco, alcohol, and cannabis are also being used. Studies have shown that non-tobacco substances are highly prevalent among street children. Clearly, the lifestyle of youngsters in India is a problem that needs to be addressed.

Several recent studies have revealed that a significant portion of young people in India are smoking tobacco. An estimated one-third of adolescents are tobacco users. A recent study in the Indian state of Karnataka showed that 4.9 per cent of adolescents aged 15 to 19 years were tobacco users. Another study in Noida revealed that 11.2% of young people there used tobacco products. But there are still plenty of ways to combat these harmful habits.

The age-group between 10 and 24 years is India’s most vulnerable and precious resource. As a result, they are highly susceptible to health issues and lifestyles. Several intrinsic and extrinsic factors contribute to the adverse health of these young people. According to the National Sample Survey, between 30 and 40% of these individuals have problems related to tobacco use, harmful alcohol use, high-risk sexual behaviours, and mental disorders.

Earlier, child marriage was a popular practice. Child brides lived with their parents until they reached puberty, and after the marriage, they were isolated and shunned by society. Though it is not as prevalent in modern-day India, child marriage is still a widespread practice. The relevant legislation in India addresses this issue. However, the situation does not change overnight. The Million Death Study uses RHIME methodology, which produces annual mortality rates of 25.5 per 100,000 population.

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