Young germans neglect their own health

More and more young Germans are convinced that medical advances and digital helpers will keep them healthy for life. Almost 40 percent therefore believe that a healthy lifestyle is increasingly superfluous. This is shown in the study "Future Health — Young German Citizens Taken to the Pulse" by Schwenninger Krankenkasse and the foundation "Die Gesundarbeiter" (The Healthy Workers). Every year, more than 1.000 adolescents and young adults in Germany between the ages of 14 and 34 were surveyed.

Prevention is not an ie for six in 10 14- to 34-year-olds. The willingness to take preventive health care decreases from year to year. According to the current study, 38 percent of respondents rely on the fact that cancer and cardiovascular diseases, for example, can always be cured better — in 2016, only just under one in four held this view.

In addition, 28 percent consider it less important to take care of their own health because medical aids will keep them healthy (2016: 21 percent).

"This development is worrying, especially in light of the fact that more and more young people are suffering from obesity due to lack of exercise and an unhealthy diet. In this way, they lay the foundation for chronic diseases such as diabetes mellitus or cardiovascular diseases while they are still young," warns Dr. Tanja Katrin Hantke. The Schwenninger physician and health expert points out that living with a chronic disease is still a major impairment — despite all the medical advances. This fact is often overlooked.

"When it comes to the topics of health and healthy living, young people have huge gaps in their education. In the parental home and in school, this knowledge is often not sufficiently conveyed," regrets Hantke.

After all, the majority of respondents recognized that there were deficits here. 78 percent want health as a school subject. Almost six out of ten respondents (58 percent) believe that the health insurance companies have a duty to provide health education.

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