On the 15th March the WHO Health Behaviour in School-aged Children (HBSC) International report was launched in Brussels! The international report provides an insight into the health and wellbeing of young people aged 11 – 15 years from across Europe and North America. The data is based on responses from over 200,000 young people from 42 countries who took part in the 2013/14 HBSC study. You can access the report here, along with factsheets and success stories illustrating how HBSC has been used to affect policy in different countries. The international report contains quotes from young people from different countries in the study – we think they are a fantastic addition and provide context and understanding to the data.
The HBSC international report is titled “Growing up unequal: gender and socioeconomic differences in young people's health and well-being. Health Behaviour in School-aged Children (HBSC) study: international report from the 2013/2014 survey” and reflects the findings that differences between gender and socioeconomic status are having a negative effect on the health and wellbeing of young people.
With our data being presented alongside countries from Europe and North America we are able to make cross cultural comparisons and see how well young people in England are doing compared with their peers in other countries. English girls showed one of the highest levels of inequality for multiple health complaints, self-rated health, and tobacco initiation compared to other European and GB countries. The girls from the least affluent households (lowest 20%) in England are more likely to experience weekly multiple health complaints and they rate their health much lower than girls from the most affluent (highest 20%) households. The difference in prevalence between these groups is one of the largest across all HBSC countries. On a positive note, the report found that English 11-year olds fare better on a number of health indicators compared with many of their European peers, such as having breakfast every day and regular tooth brushing.
For more details about the international data you can check out the press coverage from The Independent, The Telegraph and The Guardian. You can also follow the conversation by using #teenhealth.