Study examining children’s health over 20 year period launched at NUIG

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Galway Bay fm newsroom – A study, which examined indicators of children’s health and wellbeing over a 20 year period, has today been launched at NUI Galway.

The Health Behaviours in School-aged Children Trends Report conducted surveys with 10 to 17 year old students nationwide between 1998 and 2018.

The HBSC report is divided into three sections: health behaviours, health outcomes and the social context of children’s lives.

From the start of the study in 1998, to its end in 2018, there was a huge drop in the number of children who smoked – as well as those who had their first drink at age 13 or younger.

The rate of vigorous exercise was unchanged, but there was a considerable increase in children who reported being on a diet or trying to lose weight.

There was also a significant increase in children who feel low every week or frequently in the past six months, while there was also a slight increase in children who don”t have high life satisfaction.

However over the 20 year period there was a very sharp rise in young people feeling they could talk to their friends or their parents about problems – particularly in relation to their fathers.

Meanwhile, there was a slight drop in the number of young people aged 15-17 who reported they’ve had sex – but condom use is also down considerably.

While the number of children who liked school increased slightly, there was a bigger rise in the amount of young people who felt pressured by school work.

Elsewhere, and rates of fruit consumption and the brushing of teeth more than once a day were up considerably – while consistent seatbelt use almost doubled between 1998 and 2018.