March 22, 2011 - A major study published today by the University of Edinburgh found eating habits have shown some improvement, with less crisps, sweets and chips being consumed by boys and girls. However, most youngsters are still failing to include enough fruit and vegetables in their diet.
The findings come from the latest Health Behaviours in School-aged Children (HBSC) Scotland report, which was funded by NHS Health Scotland. Professor Candace Currie, director of the child and adolescent research unit at Edinburgh University, said rates of drinking and smoking had been declining. Levels peaked in the late Nineties and have been coming down. She said: “We are back down at levels of current smoking and weekly drinking that we saw in 1990.
“Levels peaked in the late Nineties and have been coming down.
“Some people have suggested the ban on smoking in public places supported this decline, as there are fewer people visibly smoking. “It is likely to be a downward trend resulting from health education messages in school during the last decade.” The survey of nearly 7,000 children found the rate of daily smoking among 15-year-olds has fallen from 16 per cent in 2002 to 11 per cent last year.
The number of young people drinking alcohol at least once a week dropped by more than a third, and experimental and regular cannabis use halved.
Daily sweet consumption reduced by a third, and consumption of crisps and chips halved. But only just over a third of youngsters said they eat fruit and vegetables daily. In 2006, the proportion of youngsters meeting recommended activity levels had reached 26 per cent. But by last year, only 15 per cent of children were taking part in moderate exercise for at least 60 minutes every day. Girls were less active than boys, with just 11 per cent meeting the guidelines compared to 19 per cent of boys.
More are playing on computers, with 65 per cent of boys and 29 per cent of girls spending at least two hours a day on games during weekdays.
Professor Currie said there was still “some way to go” to increase levels of exercise among youngsters. But she added: “There is lots of action going on at the moment to address it, with physical activity promotion in schools and clubs. “So it might just be we haven’t yet seen the impact of that.”
Reference: SCOTTISH KIDS KICKING UNHEALTHY HABITS by Judith Duffy, EXPRESS.co.uk, 2/22/2011.
Scotland - some related news briefs:
Scotland - Alcohol and Tobacco Policy Summit, March 15, 2011, Edinburgh..;
Scotland - politicians and staff at Holyrood can smoke only at designated area..;
Smoking in a car, even if window is open, exposes a child to dangerous levels of poisonous particles..;
Scotland - plain cigarette packaging - may take the lead in tobacco control..;
Scotland - Lady Dr. Eileen Crofton a leading anti-smoking campaigner and health advocate dies at 91..;
Scotland - ASH publishes recommendations for a new Scottish tobacco control strategy..;
Scotland - approximtely one-third have quit smoking when being paid to do so..;
Scotland - Imperial Tobacco loses attempt to overturn ban on cigarette displays and removal of vending machines..;
Scotland - mainly shopkeepers oppose tobacco display ban..;
Scotland - smoking ban produced benefits for people (i.e., children) who are not exposed to occupational tobacco smoke..;
Scotland - 90% of Scots back law that prosecutes adults for buying cigarettes for children..;
Scotland, Grampian Region - latest word, NHS Grampian hospital smoking clampdown delayed..;
Scotland - bribing people to live a healthy lifestyle..;
Scotland - Imperial Tobacco in legal action to stop ban on cigarette displays and vending machine removal..;
Scotland - tobacco industry says massive increase in illegal cigarettes..;
PAPER: Scotland Unhealthy risk factors those with lack of education/ low income..;
Scotland - renewing efforts to stop pregnant women from smoking..;
Scotland - cigarette smoking quit attempts increase by 35%..;
Scotland - retailers can provide input on future to ban the display of tobacco..;
Scotland - campaigners want more to be done to protect young people from passive smoking..;
Scotland - government no plans to ban smoking in cars and public places used by children..;
Scotland - smokers will be banned from fostering or adopting children, comments from Professor Banzhaf..;
Scotland - parliament votes to ban retail cigarette displays and vending machines..;
Scotland - health minister urges smokers to quit..;
Scotland - some men beginning to lead a healthier lifestyle and therefore living longer..;
Scotland - self-reporting of smoking by pregnant women underestimates true number of pregnant smokers..;
Scotland - tobacco firms claim proposed display ban is unnecessary..;
"Glasgow effect" - prevalence of cigarette smoking impact on poor health..;
Scotland - tobacco industry will try to stop attempts to curb sales to young people..;
Scotland - cigarette vending machines removal..;
Scottish politicans most have the courage to protect the health of their constituents..;
Scotland - small businesses given extra 2-years to remove tobacco displays..;
Northern Ireland - assembly approves ban on display of tobacco items..;
Scotland to ban cigarette displays and outlaw cigarette vending machines..;
Bar workers who smoke also benefit from smoking ban..;
17 countries in the world ban indoor smoking - ENFORCEMENT..;
England, Wales to ban tobacco displays in shops..;
Definite Health Benefits of Smoking Bans..;
Northern Ireland raising age for sale of tobacco from 16 to 18 joining the other three United Kingdom (UK) countries..;
Scotland proposes to implement more measures to discourage tobacco use including the banning of tobacco displays..;
Raise Age to 21 to Purchase Tobacco Products...