Adolescent health

Adolescents and youth play an important role in society, making up a sizable 30% of the population in Latin America and the Caribbean. Generally adolescents are considered to be a "healthy" subset of the population, and as a result their health needs are often overlooked. However, empowering young people in their health development allows them to transition into adulthood better equipped to serve their communities, enabling productivity and stimulating economic growth. Furthermore, as most habits detrimental to health are acquired at an early stage, manifesting themselves more severely in adulthood, it is critical to educate and build the resilience of adolescents so that they may avoid poor health outcomes, such as NCDs (e.g. lung cancer caused by the consumption of tobacco). By taking on this proactive approach towards healthy aging, any added financial burden on health systems can be avoided. As such, protecting the health and wellbeing of adolescents and youth is a priority for the Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization.