Developing Well Joint Strategic Needs Assessment (JSNA)

Child and teenage lifestyles

We want children growing up in the borough to develop healthy lifestyle habits. Poor health outcomes in adults are often related to lifestyle factors adopted in childhood. This includes health behaviours such as smoking, alcohol, physical activity, diet and obesity.

Lifestyle issues in young people

The increases in the rate of childhood obesity are a concern. 23 per cent of children in Year 6 were obese in 2016/17 (National Child measurement Programme). Conversely, rates of smoking in young people have been falling with around 7 per cent of 15 year olds in the borough smoking (What About YOUth Survey 2015). The 2016 Health Related Behaviour Survey revealed that 29 per cent of Year 10s drink alcohol and the proportion of children eating 5 portions of fruit and veg is low (boys 18 per cent and girls per cent%).

Keeping children healthy

To stay healthy or to improve health, young people need to do 3 types of physical activity each week: aerobic exercise and exercises to strengthen bones and muscles. Children aged 5–18 should do at least 60 minutes of physical activity every day and reduce the time spent watching TV or playing video games.

Parents should help them to follow the Eatwell guide so that they consume the appropriate amount of food from each food group and limit the number of sugary sweets and snacks they eat.

Risky lifestyle behaviours in young people

Smoking in childhood has consequences now and in adulthood. Children who start smoking at the youngest ages are more likely to smoke heavily and find it harder to give up as well as being at the greatest risk of developing smoking-related conditions.

Similarly, alcohol and drug use are one of the leading risk factors for the burden of disease in the UK and can negatively impact friendships, relationships with their parents and educational performance.

Statistics on lifestyle behaviours in young people

Guidance on lifestyle behaviours in young people