Report lifts lid on health of children

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A MAJOR new report on the health of young people was published yesterday in the Capital.

The Health Behaviour in School-aged Children (HBSC) study analysed influences on the health of young people aged 11 to 15 in Europe and North America.

Backed by the World Health Organisation and produced by an international alliance of researchers headquartered in St Andrews, the report identified “noncommunicable” diseases such as obesity and mental disorders as the greatest cause of preventable mortality among young people in Europe.

In her foreword, Zsuzsanna Jakab, World Health Organisation regional director for Europe, said: “As was the case with previous HBSC reports, this international report shows that, while there is much to celebrate in the health and well-being status of many young people, others continue to experience real and worrying problems in relation to issues such as overweight and obesity, self-esteem, life satisfaction, substance misuse and bullying.

“The data source for the HBSC survey is young people themselves, and it is vital that policy-makers and practitioners listen to what they are saying.”