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Health Survey For England Reveals Fewer Children Are Smoking And Drinking Alcohol

11/12/2014 11:52 | Updated 20 May 2015

Health Survey for England reveals fewer children are smoking and drinking alcohol

The number of children in England who have tried alcohol or a cigarette has fallen over the last 10 years.

The latest Health Survey for England has revealed that not only are fewer children smoking and drinking, but levels of childhood obesity have also fallen since they peaked at around 19 in 2003, to 12.9, and among eight to 10-year-olds the percentage was just 0.3) said they were regular smokers.

However, it's not all good news, as even though the number of children taking up smoking is falling, the HSCIC report that 207,000 children aged 11 to 15 start smoking each year in the UK.

The number of 13- to 15-year-olds who have tried an alcoholic drink has also dropped, falling from 74.4 in 2013.

In 2013, 11 of eight to 10-year-olds also said they had tried an alcoholic drink.

A total of 2,185 children were interviewed as part of the survey by the HSCIC.

According to the Health Survey for England, levels of childhood obesity peaked in 2004 and 2005 at 18 among both boys and girls.

Levels have slightly decreased since then, with 16 of girls classed as obese in 2013.

Parents' perceptions of their children's weight were shown to be largely correct with the majority of both mothers and fathers of children aged four to 15 thinking that their child was about the right weight (80 of father for boys, and 80 respectively for girls).

Interestingly most of these parents who thought their child was about the right weight for their height were correct - less than a quarter actually had a child who was overweight or obese.

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