Report: Health of the young improving

Study finds that youths engage in fewer health-endangering habits

According to a report by the social research centre SFI, young people are living more healthily and exposing themselves to fewer risks. Changes in money matters and how youths spend time with friends could be the causes.

The report is the result of looking at the behaviour of close to 7,700 children and young people between the ages of three and 19. A similar study was conducted in 2010, and significant improvements have taken place in the intervening years, especially when it comes to young males.

Less junk, smoking, drug-taking, crime
Among the most striking results were that young people eat much less junk food than they did four years ago, smoke less (only 4 percent of 15-year-olds smoke every week), get drunk less often, do drugs less and engage in less criminality.

The report notes that children and teens have less income. This is apparently not because they don’t receive as much pocket money, but because fewer have after-school jobs. It is also mentioned that they spend less time physically in the company of their friends outside of school, preferring to communicate virtually.

Mai Hende Ottosen, a senior researcher at SFI, implies a correlation. “We can see there’s a link and we need to ask ourselves if the fall in young people’s risky behaviour may be due to their everyday life having changed when it comes to money and friends,” she said.