Staying Active is a Priority among Gen Z but Bad Food Habits and Mental Health Issues Remain a Concern

A recent health survey conducted by Jindal Naturecure Institute involving participants from Generation Z & Millennials (age group 15 – 29) revealed that while the majority (90%) of Zen Z participate in physical activities every day of the week, 38% indulge in junk and fast food consumption at least twice a week. Equally concerning is the fact that over 39% of them suffer from mental health issues like anxiety, eating disorders or depression.

The survey results showed that only 18.4% of the participants suffered from health issues like obesity, hypertension and thyroid disease. While it’s evident that the majority of the participants prioritise bolstering their overall health, the consumption of junk food can pose a threat in the long term. A review of studies on fast food and heart health found that consuming fast food more than once every week was linked to a higher risk of obesity while eating fast food more than twice a week was associated with a higher risk of type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome and death from coronary heart disease.

“From our survey, it is evident that while the majority of the participants prioritise physical activity, good food habits and mental health are taking a backseat. People living with mental illness are at higher risk of experiencing a wide range of chronic physical conditions. Mental health disorders can alter hormonal balances and sleep cycles, while many psychiatric medications have side effects ranging from weight gain to irregular heart rhythms. These symptoms create an increased vulnerability to a range of physical conditions by the time they’re in their mid-30s or 40s. Furthermore, the way that people experience their mental illnesses can increase their susceptibility to developing poor physical health. They may adopt unhealthy eating and sleeping habits, smoke or abuse substances, as a consequence or response to their symptoms, contributing to worse health outcomes” said Dr.Babina NM, Chief Medical Officer, Jindal Naturecure Institute.

What we eat and drink every day affects our health and well-being, both physically and mentally. Good nutrition, along with regular exercise can help maintain a healthy weight while reducing the risk of chronic diseases. However, consuming regular amounts of fast and junk food can impact the quality of health and will have negative effects on the body.

“However, another interesting facet of this survey was that almost 85 of the participants believe that alternative therapies like yoga, meditation, and naturopathy can help improve their overall health. A highly connected world and constant pressure to perform, work, and relationships are some main causes of increased anxiety, stress, and depression among the Gen Z population. As these young adults work to develop their resilience, it is important for Gen Z to seek out a holistic approach to health through yoga, meditation, and other alternative therapies to take care of their physical, emotional, and mental health. Not only can these alternative therapies enhance physical health but also address a range of mental health issues starting from anxiety to depression to eating disorders. These alternative therapies can have a profound impact on a person’s life by helping them react the right way to stress and challenging emotions and situations” Dr.Babina NM, Chief Medical Officer, Jindal Naturecure Institute added.

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