The Irish Health Behaviour in School-aged Children (HBSC) study 2014.
The Health Behaviours in School Children (HBSC) survey 2014 shows that overall health levels are good. There are encouraging findings on consumption of fruit and vegetables, teeth cleaning, and a drop in smoking levels and consumption of sweets and soft drinks. However, many children said they find it easy to get cigarettes, too many children are going to bed hungry, and there are concerns about levels of cyber bullying. A total of 13,611 pupils were surveyed with questions on topics like general health, food and dietary behaviour, exercise and physical activity, self-care, smoking, use of alcohol and other substances, bullying including cyber bullying, and sexual health behaviours. Some of the key findings in the main survey include: â?¢ Reported levels of fruit and vegetable consumption have increased. â?¢ Consumption of sweets and soft drinks has decreased from 2010. â?¢ Reported levels of physical activity remained stable between 2010 and 2014. â?¢ The overall proportion of children who reported being in a physical fight has decreased from 2010. More girls and older children report being victims of cyber bullying. â?¢ There was an overall decrease in reported levels of smoking and drunkenness and an increase in levels of never drinking between 2010 and 2014. Many children reported that it is easy to buy cigarettes or get someone else to buy cigarettes for them in most shops in the area where they live and go to school. â?¢ There are still worrying levels of children going to bed hungry and skipping breakfast being reported. â?¢ More girls, older children and children from higher social classes reported brushing their teeth daily or more frequently. â?¢ 20% of children do not wear seat belts. â?¢ The percentage of 15-17 year olds who report that they have ever had sex has increased from 23% in 2010 to 27% in 2014. One key finding Substance Use: This covers tobacco, alcohol and cannabis use. There was an overall decrease in reported levels of smoking and drunkenness and an increase in levels of never drinking between 2010 and 2014. Smoking, alcohol use and cannabis use were more commonly reported among boys and older children. Exposure to second hand smoke was common at home and in the family car. Many children reported that it is easy to buy cigarettes (33% of boys, 26% of girls) or get someone else to buy cigarettes for them in most shops in the area where they live and go to school (58% of boys, 59% of girls).