26 May 2011
The results of a 2010 health related behaviour survey called, ‘A Picture of Health Jersey 2010: Reflections on the health related behaviour of young people aged 10 to 15 years’, show there are continued decreases in rates of smoking, drinking and drug taking among Jersey’s young people.
The consumption of less healthy foods has also decreased alongside increased rates in physical activity and consumption of fresh fruit and vegetables. Self-esteem also remains high with 80 per cent recording medium to high scores.
Young people's behaviour
Commenting on the survey, head of health improvement, Andrew Heaven said: “Challenges remain. The survey findings also show how certain health behaviours change as young people get older. This is particularly true in the case of tobacco and alcohol. As young people become older there are increases in reported drinking from 6% at 10-11 years to 12% at 12-13 years and up to 36% at 14-15 years. In addition, reported smoking is similar where less than 1% report smoking at 10-11 years, there is an increase to 2% at 12-13 years and a jump to 12% at 14-15 years. Targeted preventative interventions are required in order to avoid future poor health in these groups of children and young people.”
The health related behaviour questionnaire provides a picture of the health beliefs, attitudes and self reported behaviours of young people in Jersey. The questionnaire was completed by students in primary schools ages 10-11 years, and in secondary schools ages 12-13 years and 14-15 years. A total of 2,842 students completed the survey. The survey questions cover a range of health related topics including:
- family background
- home life
- physical activity
- drugs and alcohol
- emotional health
Andrew Heaven continued: “While the report showed that the health behaviours of the majority of children were consistent with the key health messages, the future challenge would be to intervene early to address the small groups of children for whom their behaviour and knowledge was likely to lead to avoidable harm.
“The survey would not have happened without funding from the Building a Safer Society Strategy, the support of the Education Department and the young people who took part.”