The only way to keep your health is to eat what you don’t want, drink what you don’t like, and do what you’d rather not’ Mark Twain.
Millennials refers to the younger generation. It is the particular cohort, which reaches young adulthood in this 21st Century. Globally, they are recognised as the largest living generation. Of Nigeria’s 180 million population more than half is said to comprise of the millennials. This is a huge and significant cohort, which will attract attention in any matter or issue.
Consequently, the health status of this younger generation should be a matter of great concern to themselves, families, friends, institutions and governments. We all know that health is wealth. Health affects and actually determines the level of people’s productivity.
There are some peculiar existential factors, which affect the health of every age group and particularly the millennial. Adopting appropriate behavioural strategies will enhance the health status of this younger generation.
Drug is one of the major issues, which confront millennials to their face. The right behavioural attitudes for this younger generation towards drugs should be to use the professional services of doctors and pharmacists by following prescriptions. In other words, the younger generation should desist from engaging in the negative attitudes of self-medication, misuse of drugs or involvement in illicit drugs. We all know that it is a herculean task to achieve these noble goals. Only a few months ago, the Nigerian populace was thrown into a rude shock by the knowledge of the habitual misuse of codeine among primary and secondary school students. Some national dailies reported that the government recalled about 2.4 million bottles of codeine cough syrup.
The issue of sex education is central to the health of the millennials. The wrong attitudes to sexuality and sex education include, ignorance, promiscuity, becoming a carrier of Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STD) or ending up in childhood pregnancy. All these are indices of poor health conditions.
Consequently the appropriate behavioural strategies available to raising a healthy younger generation would involve providing quality education, supervision, counselling and enlightenment services for the millennials. Parents and other adults should desist from engaging in such wrong attitudes like negligence, lack of trust, judgmental spirit and pessimism towards the younger generation.
People are as healthy and strong as their diets. However many millennials, are actively and addictively engaged in wrong diet and drinks from the consumption of junk foods, preoccupation with unhealthy staple meals to the development of eating disorders (such as Anorexia and Bulima nervosa, purging disorder). These are agencies of diseases and disorders among millennials. To obtain and maintain good health, the younger generation should develop positive feeding habits such as eating balanced diet, minimising intake of processed food and drinks.
There exists a litany of decisions that confront millennials in the area of the use of electronic gadgets, which can mar or enhance their health status. Contemporarily, social media channels have multiplied with leaps and bounds. From Facebook, Twitter, Messenger to Instagram, the Social Media has been a monstrous and mercilessness oppressor of many lives (and not only the younger generation). The demands and dangers to health are counted in terms of misuse, addiction, and control of lives. Of course, the term Internet bullying has become a common phenomenon, which is causing harm and hurt not only to the health of millennial but inevitably posing as a serious source of danger to their success in academics, career, business and even leisure or rest.
Consequently, there needs to be a reversal from this destructive trend of the misuse of electronic gadgets and social media. The appropriate behavioural strategies which will enhance good health among millennials include, self-discipline, use of accountability partners and mentors and supervisory functions by significant others at home and school. The acquisition of self-discipline is so central and crucial to success in life that, Theodore Roosevelt, the twenty-sixth (26th) president of America once said that, ‘with self discipline, most anything is possible’.
Source: Voice of Nigeria