Lancet Commission on Adolescent Health and Wellbeing

Relative to other ages, this is the largest generation of adolescents and young adults aged 10 to 24 years that the world will ever have. In some low and middle-income countries more than one in three of the total population is a ‘young person’.

The rapid improvements in child health and survival in many countries have not been matched by improvements in the health of adolescents and young adults.

This demographic transition is being paralleled by an equally fast epidemiological transition. At the same time as the burden of infectious disease is declining, non-communicable diseases including injuries, mental health, cardiovascular and cerebrovascular disease, diabetes and obesity are increasing dramatically. These conditions commonly have their origins in childhood and adolescence.


In 2013 The Lancet partnered with four leading academic institutions (The University of Melbourne, The London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, University College London and Columbia University) to establish a Commission on Adolescent Health and Wellbeing.

The landmark report, Our future: a Lancet commission on adolescent health and wellbeing, was published in 2016. It identified the major challenges confronting adolescents globally and was authored by 30 leading experts from 14 countries, including Burnet Institute researchers Dr Elissa Kennedy and Dr Peter Azzopardi.

The Commission highlights priorities for action and calls for key investments across sectors to assure the health of this and future generations, and to tackle the leading causes of poor health in adulthood

The six recommendations from the report will now provide the framework for a Lancet Standing Commission, committed to actions for adolescent health and wellbeing for a further 5 years.

As part of the ongoing agenda of the Commission, Burnet continues to contribute to work to describe global and regional progress in adolescent health (Progress in adolescent health and wellbeing: tracking 12 headline indicators for 195 countries and territories, 1990-2016 and Adolescent health in the Eastern Mediterranean Region: findings from the global burden of disease 2015 study) as well as improved understanding of this critical developmental and its implications for future health (The age of adolescence and Adolescence and the next generation).


2015 – current


Centre for Adolescent Health, Murdoch Children’s Research Institute School of Population and Global Health, University of Melbourne Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation; London School for Hygiene and Tropical Medicine University College London; Columbia University


Burnet’s work was commissioned by The Centre for Adolescent Health, Murdoch Children’s Research Institute (funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation)

Contact Details

For any general enquiries relating to this project, please contact:

Doctor Elissa Kennedy

Co-Program Director, Maternal and Child Health; Co-Head Global Adolescent Health