Twenty three years of Young People reports
This report, Young People into 2009, is a unique contemporary archive of young people from the Schools Health Education Unit. There are over 100 health-related behaviour questions and answers from 80,548 youngsters between the ages of 10 and 15. They tell us about what they do at home, at school, and with their friends. The data have been collected from 1,100 primary and secondary schools across the United Kingdom.
SECTION 1 - Food choices & weight control
• In the sample of 14-15 year olds, 9% of males and 6% of females were 'overweight' according to BMI formulae. 59% of 14-15 year old females, 53% of 12-13 year old females and 40% of 10-11 year old females ‘would like to lose weight’. This compares with 28% of 14-15 year old males, 33% of 12-13 year old males and 31% of 10-11 year old males who ‘would like to lose weight’
• 27% of Year 10 females have ‘nothing at all to eat for breakfast this morning’ and, 16% had nothing for lunch on the previous day (View on example page)
• Less fresh fruit and vegetables are eaten as pupils get older and up to 23% report eating 3 portions of fruit and vegetables. 18% of 14-15 yr. olds and 31% of 10-11 yr. olds report eating 5 or more portions of fruit and vegetables ‘yesterday’
• Up to 66% drank less than 1 litre of water ‘yesterday’
SECTION 2 - Doctor & Dentist
• Up to 29% of the 12-15 year old females, reported feeling 'quite uneasy' or 'very uneasy' on their last visit to the doctor
SECTION 3 - Health & Safety
• Up to 33% of 12-15 year old females report taking painkillers on at least one day during the previous week. The was an association between worrying about 5 or more topics and taking painkillers
• Up to 34% of 10-13 yr. old females feel afraid (at least 'sometimes') of going to school because of bullying.
23% of 14-15 yr. old males keep bullying problems ‘to themselves’(Section 8).
Around 26% of 10-11 yr. olds experience some form of bullying and 26% of 10-11 yr. old females are picked on for ‘the way they look’ (Section 9)
• 12% of the 14-15 year old males were 'fairly sure' or 'certain' that their friends carried weapons for protection when going out
SECTION 4 - Family & Home
• Up to 65% live with both parents – since 1990 there has been a downward trend of around 15% of those pupils reporting living with both parents
• Up to 46% of the sample walk, at least some of the way, to school
• More females than males did homework on the evening before the survey, and they tended to spend longer at it. Around 37% of the 12-15 year old males did no homework at all
• Up to 20% of 12-15 yr. old males spent more than 3 hours on computer games after school ‘yesterday’ and 78% of 14-15 year old males browse the Internet without adult supervision
• 42% of 10-11 year old females 'read a book for enjoyment' as an after-school activity compared with 20% of 14-15 year old females
SECTION 5 - Legal & Illegal Drugs
• Since the mid 1990s there has been a general decline in 14-15 year olds who smoke regularly. Around 93% of 10-11 year olds say they have never smoked. This figure drops to 58% (males) and 48% (females) by the time they are 14-15 years old. 21% of 14-15 year old females smoked ‘in the last 7 days’. The majority of current smokers say they would like to stop. Around 45% of 12-15 year olds live in a 'smoky' home. 46% of ‘smoking’ 14-15 yr.old females have a sister who smokes
• Up to 55% of the 14-15 year olds are ‘fairly sure' or ’certain' that they know a drug user. Up to 15% of 14-15 year olds have mixed drugs and alcohol 'on the same occasion'
• Around 20% of 14-15 year-olds have ever tried illegal drugs; local surveys indicate that in some areas 3% of these Year 10 pupils have been offered 'legal highs' and 2% have ever taken them
• Around 27% of 14-15 year olds got drunk ‘during the last 7 days’
SECTION 6 - Money
• The percentage of young people with a regular job rises from around 21% (12-13 years) to up to 31% (14-15 years). Up to 23% of 14-15 year olds earned more than £30 ‘last week’ and around 40% of 14-15 year olds reported receiving more than £10 in pocket money ‘last time’. More males than females save money and there is an upward trend, since 1993, in those 12-15 year olds saving money
SECTION 7 - Exercise & Sport
• Over 90% of the sample of 10-15 year olds report exercising at least once 'last week'. At least 69% of males and 49% of females report exercising vigorously on 3 or more days
• 64% of 10-11 year old females think they are ‘fit’ or ‘very fit’. This falls to 31% by the time they reach 14-15 years of age
• From 1991 there is an upward trend (10%-22%) of 14-15 year old females that report being unfit
SECTION 8 - Social & Personal
• ‘The way you look’ remains a worry (47%-53%) for females aged 12-15 years
• 59% of 14-15 year old females and 44% of 14-15 year old females worry about exams and tests
• 64% of 14-15 year old females, compared with 51% of 14-15 year old males, want to continue with full-time education
• Up to 51% of 14-15 year olds don’t know about local birth control services for young people
SECTION 9 - Responses from primary children that are not contained in sections 1-8
• 30% of 10-11 year olds (which has been consistent for a number of years) report that they have been scared or upset by an adult
1.SHEU is an independent research, survey and publishing company and the 'Young People into 2009' report is the 23rd in the series and based on the work of one of its divisions - The Schools Health Education Unit. The Unit provides reliable baseline data for local needs assessment to inform plans in health, education and care.
2.The accumulated data from the hundreds of school surveys we support each year, involving tens of thousands of young people, is a valuable resource of information and provides many opportunities for research. We caution against simple reporting and interpretation of our databanks as being from 'a national survey'.