The Department of Health today published the “Young Persons Behaviour & Attitudes Survey 2016: Health Modules” bulletin.
The Young Persons Behaviour & Attitudes Survey (YPBAS) is a school based survey carried out among 11-16 year olds. It is commissioned jointly by a number of government departments and includes questions on a wide range of topics. Six rounds of the survey have now taken place: 2000, 3003, 2007, 2010, 2013 and 2016. This publication presents an overview of the health-related topics from the 2016 survey.
Results from the 2016 YPBAS show that:
The majority of young people (84%) described their health as being good or very good, with no difference found between boys and girls;
Around a third reported having had concerns or worries about their mental health (40% of girls and 31% of boys). Of those that had such concerns, three-fifths did not seek help from anyone;
Since 2000 there has been a steady decline in smoking, drinking and drug use. In 2016, 4% of young people were current smokers, with no difference noted between boys and girls;
A third of young people (32%) had ever taken an alcoholic drink; a decrease from 59% in 2000;
The majority (84%) of respondents indicated they had never been offered drugs or solvents; a small proportion (2%) reported having used drugs or solvents in the last month;
Under a fifth (17%) reported eating the recommended five portions of fruit and vegetables a day though this is an increase from the 15% first recorded in 2007;
Around one in eight young people reported doing the recommended 60 minutes of moderate physical activity during every day of the last week; boys (17%) were twice as likely as girls (8%) to attain this;
Around three in five young people had taken an antibiotic in the last twelve months. Just under half (47%) thought that antibiotics work on colds and flu, and 37% thought it was ok to stop taking an antibiotic when you feel better.