How Genes Affect Adolescent Health?

Adolescence is the period of life when risks for certain diseases rise. Genes have an important role to play in adolescent health. In fact, the social and behavioral sciences often refer to adolescence as a “second critical period” because of how it influences our long-term health and well-being. This article takes a look at how genes affect adolescent health, as well as some of the conditions that are more likely to develop during this pivotal stage of life.

What are Genes?

Genes are pieces of DNA that contain instructions for how our bodies develop and function. They are inherited from our parents, similar to a names generator, each of us inherits a random set of genes from each of our parents. Our genes can be thought of as our biological blueprint, reflected in the way we look and our long-term health.

Genes can have both positive and negative effects on our health, they can increase our risk for certain diseases, and they can also influence our response to certain types of treatment.

How Genes Influence Adolescent Health?

First, they can influence how someone’s body changes during adolescence, setting the stage for how they will develop and look as adults. For example, a person who inherits genes that increase the risk of becoming overweight may have a harder time keeping a healthy weight as they go through adolescence.

Moreover, genes can also influence how a person responds to certain health risk factors during adolescence, such as diet or exercise patterns, or exposure to stress or trauma. For example, a person with a genetic tendency towards developing type 2 diabetes may need to make lifestyle changes to prevent or delay the onset of this condition.

Nutrition and Exercise during Adolescence

Nutrition and exercise are two key areas of adolescent health. Nutritional deficiencies can have a lasting impact on adolescent health, particularly with regard to growth and development. For example, a lack of vitamin D in adolescence may increase the risk for certain types of cancer later in life. Similarly, a lack of exercise during adolescence can have a lasting impact on health. While many teenagers exercise regularly, a concerning number of adolescents are at risk for becoming overweight or obese.