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Life can be said to be a cycle that begins with childhood, then adolescents and ends with the adulthood stage. In all these stages, it is important for an individual to be healthy so as to grow and be able to effectively move from one stage to the next. A common misunderstanding is that there are some stages that require more attention than the others. This is not the case as all stages are important in one’s life and should be well taken care of for good health progress.
Being healthy has for a long time been thought to generally mean a state of being free from disease. However, current research shows that being healthy not only includes the physical body but also mentally and spiritually. To achieve healthy growth, efforts have to be put by the individuals themselves or by third parties. This therefore means that there are a number of obstacles for healthy growth that hinder its achievement (Coon and Mitterer, 2006, p.122). This paper looks at some of the obstacles that hinder healthy growth during different stages of life.
Obstacles during childhood
Childhood is the first stage of growth and it usually comprises many new experiences in the child’s life. Some of these experiences are the main obstacles to healthy growth in infants and children. The healthy growth of a child in most cases depends on the guardian in this case the mother to be specific since this is the person who is entirely responsible the child’s life. A common obstacle to healthy growth in children is the susceptibility to diseases and infections.
Children at the very tender age do not have very strong immunity and therefore even the slightest infection has great harm on them. Most changes that occur in young children for example, teething, crawling and others are usually accompanied by body disorders such as fever, vomiting, diarrhoea among others. When the aforementioned occur, the child is rendered weak because of loss of water and blood which are essential for healthy bodies. The same also lead to decreased appetite making the child not to feed well and in the long run unhealthy growth. This obstacle can be overcome by making sure the child has had all the required immunizations and also ensuring hygiene in the child’s body as well as the environment.
Another major obstacle for healthy growth in childhood is the many activities children have especially in the second and third years of life. Most of these activities come along with excess depletion of the body’s storages (O’Boyle, 2008, p.1). A normal child during this age will have a minimal increase in physical weight as compared to the previous ages. This therefore means that if the child is not properly checked, they may have stunted or declined growth. This obstacle is at times difficult to overcome but the most important thing is to ensure that the child has proper diet and more so the energy giving foods which replenish the used tissues.
Obstacles during adolescent
The adolescent stage forms a major transition in growth as well as the health of an individual. The most common obstacle to healthy growth in the adolescents is eating disorders (Kim, 2004, p.1). A big percentage of the teenagers suffer from either anorexia nervosa or bulimia nervosa. This is to mean some eat less while others eat in excess respectively.
These conditions occur in this stage of life since it is during this stage that the teenagers want to shape up their bodies, be recruited in certain professionals such as modelling and sports, some of them want to fit in a certain clique. All these factors may make an individual to change their eating habits which may have detrimental effects in their health (Coon and Mitterer, 2006, p.122). One way of curbing this problem is by ensuring constant awareness of the effects of such habits through counselling.
Another obstacle of healthy growth during this stage is the much time spent in school thus they are totally responsible for themselves. In most cases the adolescents are left to decide on their own since they are now school going and the parents have slightly detached from them. They are thus left to make their own decisions concerning food types and eating times. These decisions may be difficult to make especially for those without proper knowledge. You may find that most of them overindulge in sports and other activities hence skipping meals. Others forgo food to spend the money and time on leisure activities such as drugs and alcohols. This obstacle can be overcome by educating the teenagers and by also keeping a close watch on them.
Obstacles in Adulthood
This is the last stage where growth is minimal though important too. A common obstacle that dominates this stage is the many responsibilities that come with this stage. Adults spend time in work places, taking care of the young ones hence having less time of their own (Kail and Cavanaugh, 2008, p.302). The stress that comes in handy with these responsibilities is a major hindrance to healthy growth too.
Similarly, adults tend to neglect their bodies with the thought that since they have been healthy all along, they are strong and do not have nutritional needs. This thought makes most of them have poor eating habits which in the long run leads to unhealthy growth. These two obstacles can be solved by creating awareness to the adults on the benefits of healthy growth by educating them on their body requirements despites age. The other way is by encouraging them to have a balance between the responsibilities at hand and the requirements of the body.
Coon, D. And Mitterer, J. Introduction to Psychology: gateways to mind and behaviour. Cengage Learning, 2006.
Kail, R. And Cavanaugh, J. Human Development: A life-span view. Cengage Learning, 2008.
Kim, S. (2004). Inspiring Courage in Girls and Women. Web.
O’Boyle, E. (2008) Obstacles to the development of Children as mature persons. Web.