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National report sheds light on health and wellbeing of young people

25 June, 2015: Statistics on the health, care and wellbeing of young people in England - from birth to young adulthood - are published today in a report from the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC). It brings together in one place for the first time a range of information, including use of hospital services, talking therapies, prescribing, immunisations and lifestyle trends. The report aims to provide a more joined-up picture of key areas of health and care among younger age groups.

*HSCIC must be quoted as the source of these figures

*Regional figures are available

Focus on the Health and Care of Young People, June 2015 shows that in England3:

  • Smoking in pregnancy: One in nine women giving birth (11 per cent) classed themselves as smokers at the time of delivery in 2014/15; this has declined from 2006/07 (15 per cent). The smoking prevalence of new mothers varied across the country from five per cent in London to 20 per cent in Durham, Darlington and Tees4.
  • Breastfeeding: There was an increase in the proportion of mothers breastfeeding initially5, from 78 per cent in 2005 to 83 per cent in 2010 (most recent survey year).
  • Measles, Mumps & Rubella (MMR): 93 per cent of children were given the MMR vaccine, an eight percentage point increase since 2006-07 (85 per cent). London had the lowest proportion of children immunised (87 per cent). The highest level of immunisations was in the East Midlands (95 per cent).
  • Sedentary lifestyles: Children are leading increasingly sedentary lifestyles: in 2012, 14 per cent of 13 to 15 year old boys got the recommended amount of exercise, down from 28 per cent in 20085. Among girls in this age group the proportion meeting the recommended levels of physical activity fell from 14 to eight per cent over the same period.
  • Diet: Proportions of children eating five portions of fruit and vegetables a day have increased. For five to seven year olds this has increased from nine per cent in 2003 to 17 per cent in 2013. In eight to 10 year olds this has increased from 10 to 20 per cent over the same period.
  • Obesity: In 2013-14, 23 per cent of children in reception year (aged 4-5) were either overweight or obese. 34 per cent of year 6 children (aged 10-11) were either overweight or obese.
    • Overweight and obesity prevalence was higher amongst boys at both four to five years (23 per cent) and 10-11 years (35 per cent), compared to 22 per cent and 32 per cent among girls in these two age groups.
    • Overweight and obesity prevalence also varied by region. Among reception children this ranged from 20 per cent in the South East to 24 per cent in the North East and North West. In year 6 the range was from 30 per cent in the South East to 38 per cent London. There is also significant variation among local authorities within these regions.
  • Mental health: Numbers of referrals to psychological therapies for 15-19 year olds were more than double for young women (34,000) in this age group, compared to young men (16,000).
  • Drugs: In 2013, 16 per cent of children aged 11-15 reported having ever taken drugs, this figure was down from 29 per cent in 2001.
  • Technology: Nearly half (48 per cent) of young adults (aged 16-24) have used a fitness app on a regular basis and three in five (61 per cent) use the internet to look up health or social care related conditions.

HSCIC lead clinician Professor Martin Severs said: "Today's report shines a light on the lifestyles and behaviours of young people from cradle to teenage years and beyond. With this information we are able to gain a clearer understanding of how the NHS is used by this generation. This is absolutely vital to give people in charge of commissioning services for young people the building blocks of information they need to plan for now and the future."

The full report can be accessed at:  


Notes to editors

1. The Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) was established on April 1 2013 as an Executive Non Departmental Public Body (ENDPB). It is England's trusted data source, delivering high quality information and IT systems to drive better patient services, care and outcomes. Its work includes publishing more than 220 statistical publications annually; providing a range of specialist data services; managing informatics projects and programmes and developing and assuring national systems against appropriate contractual, clinical safety and information standards.

2. Counts over 10,000 are rounded to the nearest 1,000, counts over 1,000 are rounded to the nearest 100. Percentages are rounded to the nearest per cent

3. Data are from 2013-14 unless otherwise stated.

4. Regional data by Region and NHS England Area Teams.

5. Incidence of breastfeeding is defined as the proportion of babies who were brbreast fednitially. This includes all babies who were put to the breast at all, even if this was on one occasion only. It also includes giving expressed breastmilk to the baby.

6. Details of UK physical activity guidelines can be found here:

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