"The Health Secretary, Patricia Hewitt, is asking the Treasury to raise the tax on alcopops and other alcoholic drinks favoured by teenagers to price them beyond the reach of young people's earnings or pocket money. Ms Hewitt said there was a real problem of binge drinking among young people which resulted in them 'ending up in the casualty department of hospitals because they are drunk'. However, the Treasury said that her idea was 'not a runner' and pointed out that after a decision in the 2002 budget, alcopops were now taxed at the same rate as spirits."
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BODY IMAGE AND THE MEDIA
We have known for a long while that "the way you look" is the most common worry for young women aged 14-15 years of age in our UK surveys. We also know that around 60% of girls in this group want to lose weight, which, whatever the obesity statistics are like, is far more than might need to lose weight for medical reasons (indeed, we would expect teenagers to put on weight all the time they are growing). Even some underweight teenagers say they want to lose weight.
There has been a recent local crackdown on young people drinking in public (TEEN DRINKERS IN CRACKDOWN)
We are often asked to comment on young people's drinking.
It must be noted that for the young people in our survey,
* most drinking is in moderate quantities
* most drinking is done at home with knowledge if not approval of parents
We have been seeing in our primary school surveys a proportion of young people who think they are being picked on or bullied because of their size or weight. We don't usually ask this same question in the secondary surveys, but we do ask what are the pupil's height and weight, and from this we can identify overweight, obese and underweight young people.
We also ask these secondary school pupils if they are ever afraid to go to school because of bullying.
Following Anti-Bullying Week and a news story last month about a girl being physically attacked, we have had more news stories about young people committing suicide after prolonged bullying and further reports of bullying in the armed services. These prompted us to have another look at the figures we hold about bullying: what can we tell about the effects of bullying on the victim?
Our school surveys ask the boys and girls about their perceived levels of bullying, the nature of the bullying, and where it takes place.
Results from two of the questions:
A decline in 12-15 year olds' knowledge about the dangers of HIV/AIDS can be seen in results from our surveys, which are used nationwide (and beyond). Click on this link
Our surveys, which are used nationwide (and beyond), show quite a range of levels of behaviour from community to community and from school to school. Included in the data collected are levels of fear of being bullied at school, and hence fear of going to school.
Ted Wragg (1938 - 2005)
who died, Thursday November 10th 2005.