Health and nutrition for Adolescents and Young People

Adolescence is a very crucial stage that marks the transition into adulthood. A lot happens at this stage including, physical, socio-emotional, and behavioral changes, and most likely to reflect in someone’s adulthood. A report from the National center for children in poverty (NCCP) indicates, that among all children, 45% live in low-income families and approximately one in every five (22%) live in poor families.

Poverty can negatively impact adolescents as the poor ones experience high levels of anxiety from lacking basic needs. The government of Kenya recognizes that illiteracy and poor health are an impediment to national development and poverty reduction. It is therefore committed to promoting availability and access to quality education and health to all, including learners. Kenyan pupils and students especially from marginalized regions are among the Sub Saharan African school goers who continue to face malnutrition that affects their general health and wellbeing furthermore impacting their educational journey negatively.

Center for Disease Control (CDC 2015) reports that undernutrition in childhood and adolescence can delay sexual maturation, slow growth, and reduce a child/adolescent’s ability to learn, lowering school performance and achievement. Therefore, investing in nutrition remains imperative to the desired growth and development of young people. Good nutrition involves eating healthy foods in adequate amounts in order to ensure a child’s proper physical and cognitive growth and development and prevent nutrition related diseases. Good nutrition increases a child’s attention span, learning capacity, and ability to fully engage in educational experiences and therefore reach their full potential in life.

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