Young People into 2010

Twenty four years of Young People reports

YP into '10

ISBN 9781-902445-41-9

This report, Young People into 2010, 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 43,014 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, 14% of males and 11% of females were 'overweight' according to BMI formulae. 56% of 14-15 year old females, 50% of 12-13 year old females and 32% of 10-11 year old females ‘would like to lose weight’. This compares with 27% of 14-15 year old males, 34% of 12-13 year old males and 24% 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, 23% had nothing for lunch on the previous day  (View an 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. 15% of 14-15 yr. olds and 28% of 10-11 yr. olds report eating 5 or more portions of fruit and vegetables ‘yesterday’
    • Up to 62% drank less than 1 litre of water ‘yesterday’
  • SECTION 2 - Doctor & Dentist
    • Up to 23% 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 58% of 14-15 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
    • 37% of 10-11 yr. old females feel afraid (at least 'sometimes') of going to school because of bullying.
    20% of 10-11 yr. old males keep bullying problems ‘to themselves’(Section 8).
    • Around 20% of 14-15 yr. old females report being upset or scared by chat messages or pictures seen online
    • 22% of the 14-15 year old males can go out knowing that there is a weapon being carried by them/friends
  • SECTION 4 - Family & Home
    • Up to 63% live with both parents – in the last 20 years there has been a downward trend of around 15% of those pupils reporting living with both parents
    • Up to 43% 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 30% of the 12-15 year old males did no homework at all
    • Up to 24% of 12-15 yr. old males spent more than 3 hours on computer games after school ‘yesterday’ and 86% of 14-15 year old males browse the Internet without adult supervision
    • 44% of 10-11 year old females 'read a book for enjoyment' as an after-school activity compared with 36% 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 92% of 10-11 year olds say they have never smoked. This figure drops to 59% (males) and 53% (females) by the time they are 14-15 years old. Around 40% of 12-15 year olds live in a 'smoky' home.
    • Up to 50% of the 14-15 year olds are ‘fairly sure' or ’certain' that they know a drug user. 13% of 14-15 year olds have mixed drugs and alcohol 'on the same occasion'
    • Around 18% 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
    • 43% of 14-15 year olds reported drinking in the 'last seven days'
  • SECTION 6 - Money
    • The percentage of young people with a regular job rises from 20% (12-13 yr. males) to up to 28% (14-15 yr. males). Up to 20% 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 68% of males and 49% of females report exercising vigorously on 3 or more days
    • 63% of 10-11 year old females think they are ‘fit’ or ‘very fit’. This falls to 28% 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 for females aged 12-15 years (43%-51%)
    • 57% of 14-15 year old females and 39% of 14-15 year old males worry about exams and tests
    • 66% of 14-15 year old females, compared with 50% of 14-15 year old males, want to continue with full-time education
    • Statements from the 'Every Child Matters' section show a marked difference between the positive responses from primary and secondary pupils e.g. 'Having work marked to see how to improve it' drops from around 89% (10-11 yr.olds) to around 34% (14-15 yr.olds)
    • 'Friends' remain an important resource when help is needed with issues about: 'The way you look', 'Problems at home', and ' Sex and relationships'
  • SECTION 9 - Responses from primary children that are not contained in sections 1-8
    • Up to 24% of 10-11 year olds report being picked on for 'the way you look'


1.SHEU is an independent research, survey and publishing company and the 'Young People into 2010' report is the 24th 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'.