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HEALTH BEHAVIOUR IN SCHOOL-AGED CHILDREN

WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION COLLABORATIVE CROSS-NATIONAL SURVEY

 

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News Item:
HBSC Ireland: 2014 national report published

Monitoring the health behaviours of adolescents lets us respond to shifting patterns of wellbeing with policies that support young people to lead healthier lives. 

A total of 13,611 pupils aged 8-17 completed the HBSC study in Ireland, part of a cross national collaboration with the WHO Regional Office for Europe, on young people’s health behaviours and social backgrounds. The survey asked a number of questions, covering topics from diet, to drug and alcohol use, sexual activity, bullying and more.

The results of this survey were published in a new report launched December 9th by Dr. Leo Varadkar TD, Minister for Health.

Significant findings from this survey include an increase in reported levels of fruit and vegetable consumption, while the consumption of sweets and soft drinks had decreased from 2010. However, the percentage of children who go to bed hungry was still as high as in previous HBSC studies, the last being conducted in 2010. 

In terms of drug and alcohol use behaviours, results showed a decrease in reported levels of smoking and drunkenness from 2010. At the same time, however, a significant proportion of adolescents reported that access to cigarettes was easy. 

Levels of bullying remained stable from the 2010 study, yet there was an increase in the percentage of this bullying being done online as cyber bullying. Finally, in a section on sexual health, the study found a 23% increase from 2010 in the number of 15-17 year olds who stated that they had ever had sex. This is important to note in order to consider sexual health awareness issues in schools and educate teachers and professionals. 

This study, carried out nationally by researchers at the University of Galway, aims to establish an overall picture of trends in the certain health behaviours of young people. This will help identify areas of adolescent health which need to be improved and ways in which these improvements can be achieved.

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item 3377
[10-12-2015 to 10-06-2016]

 


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