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youngpeopleDecember 8 2015

HSCIC's What About YOUth? 2014 (WAY 2014) survey was commissioned by the Department of Health after the Children and Young People's Health Outcomes Forum highlighted gaps in the Public Health Outcomes Framework (PHOF) for young people.

The aim was to create a new survey to collect local authority data on a range of varying health behaviours amongst 15 year-olds across England.

These included:

  • General health
  • Diet
  • Use of free time
  • Physical activity
  • Smoking
  • Drinking
  • Drugs
  • Bullying
  • & Emotional wellbeing.

It is hoped that WAY 2014 isn't a one-off, and the survey will be repeated to collect data over a longer period of time with the aim of forming a better understanding of how health and wellbeing is changing amongst 15 year-olds.

Findings

  • At 29%, nearly one third of the 15 year-olds said their health was 'Excellent', 56% said their health was 'Good', whilst 13% regarded their health as 'Fair' and only 1% said 'Poor'.
  • Fourteen percent of young people said they had a long-term illness, disability or medical condition that has been diagnosed by a doctor.
  • As for diet, over half (52%) of them had consumed 5 or more portions of fruit and veg the previous day.
  • And 52% of all young people said they thought their body was 'about the right size'. 12% thought they were 'a bit too thin', and 2% said 'much too thin'. 28% however thought their body was 'a bit too fat' and a futher 6% said they were 'much too fat'.
  • When asked if they had participated in at least one hour of moderate/vigorous physical activity per day on all seven days of the last week only 14% said they had.
  • 24% of 15-year old had tried smoking, 8% were current smokers and of that 8%, 5% were regular smokers and 3 % smoked occasionally.
  • 62% of those surveyed reported having previously had a whole alcoholic drink (not just a sip). With 6% of  young people classed as regular drinkers (drinking alcohol at least once a week). 8% drink alcohol about once a fortnight, 11% drink about once a month, and 32% drink only a few times a year.
  • 26% reported being offered cannabis and 11% said they had tried it at least once. Overall, 5% had taken cannabis in the last month, 9% in the last year, and 2% had taken it more than a year ago. ('In the last year' includes 'in the last month').           
  • At 87%, the majority of 15 year-olds had never been offered any other drugs, with 13% saying they had been. 98% of them had not tried any other drugs.
  • 6% of the young people believed they didn't engage in any risky behaviour. However, 16% engaged in three or more risky behaviours while 5% said they had engaged in four or more.
  • Regarding bullying, 55% of those surveyed said they had been bullied in some form in the past couple of months. 15% had experienced cyber-bullying within that time. 26% of participants had bullied another person or people at some point in the past, and 74% reported that they had never bullied another person.
  • 22% had very high life-satisfaction scores, 44% had high life-satisfaction scores, 21% had medium and 14% had low.

WAY 2014 was carried out by the Health & Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC).

Links:

WAY 2014 - Full Report

WAY 2014 - Data Visualisation

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