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The Young Health Program Promotes Healthy Diets and Clean Living Among kids to Prevent NCDs

Young Health Program

Young Health Program Promotes Healthy Living

Young Health Program – Cardiovascular and respiratory diseases, cancers, and diabetes are responsible for 71% of global deaths each year. Around 85% of premature deaths from non-communicable diseases (NCDs) occur in low and middle-income countries, where people also bear the greater burden of undernutrition.

Today’s food systems are broken and do not deliver nutritious, safe, affordable, and sustainable diets. What’s worse, they undermine nutrition in several ways, particularly for vulnerable and marginalized populations.

Studies show that two-thirds of the world’s children are not eating the recommended minimum number of food groups and only one in six children are receiving a minimum acceptable diet. A healthy diet is essential to keep youngsters healthy. It affects them across their life span right from developing their organs to reducing the risk of chronic diseases.

Sadha, a young woman from Delhi, has direct experience with the dangers of an improper diet. After overindulging in junk food and sugary snacks and living a lethargic lifestyle, she discovered that it was difficult to do daily tasks. All of this changed, though, once she participated in the Young Health Programme (YHP), a global project for community investment run by AstraZeneca and Plan India.

Young Health Program

The programme focuses on health awareness and promotion activities in order to enhance the health outcomes for youth who are at risk. It aims to increase access to better-for-you food and drink options.

To date, 4,68,838 young people and 2,45,000 community members in Delhi have received training in maintaining a balanced diet and exercise routines and have vowed to abstain from using tobacco and alcohol.

Time prior to YHP

Sadha was raised in a routine way as a child. She loved fast food and didn’t have any lofty aspirations for the future. Her after-school socialising with friends is usual. Together, Sadha and her pals would explore new restaurants and sample new cuisine.

The group would always divide up the bill-paying duties among themselves. They would consume sandwiches, chaats, and other delectable but harmful foods. One pivotal day, Sadha was embarrassed since she lacked the funds to cover the amount. This led her to raid her mother’s purse in order to host a party for her pals.

Sadha’s mother persuaded her to modify her behaviours since she was concerned about her daughter’s behaviour and health. Sadha’s health subsequently declined, and physicians discovered a weak immune system.

Sadha was forced to observe her neighbours’ enjoyment from the window of her room because she was unable to go to school, visit her friends, or go out. She felt bad about her bad eating habits and wanted to improve them.

After classes started in November 2021, Sadha was made aware of YHP sessions on sexual and reproductive health rights (SRHR) and noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) that were held at the designated health information centre (HIC).

Giving back is caring

Sadha wanted to share her experiences with her close friends in order to safeguard their health after learning what she experienced. She was able to participate in the programme and raise awareness among thousands of other kids thanks to YHP’s peer educator system.

Young people receive training on YHP issues like NCD prevention and sexual and reproductive health as part of the peer educators initiative. Additionally, they conduct community sessions to raise awareness of the negative consequences of using tobacco, abusing alcohol, eating unhealthily, being inactive, and other behaviours. YHP evaluates the community’s needs for health care and advocates with governmental organisations to fill those gaps.