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Number Of Children Drinking Alcohol Under The Age Of 16 Drops To The Lowest Level Since Records Began

And the number of kids smoking has decreased, too.

14/12/2016 11:41

The number of children drinking alcohol under the age of 16 is the lowest its been since records began.

The 2014/15 Health Survey for England (HSE) found that just 16% of children aged eight to 15 years reported ever having an alcoholic drink.

This is the lowest level reported since the HSE began including children in 1995, down from the highest point of 45% in 2003.

The figures, published by NHS Digital, also show that the proportion of eight- to 15-year-olds who reported that they had smoked a cigarette has decreased from 19% in 2003 to 4% in 2015. 

Among children aged eight to 15, 5% of boys and 4% of girls had smoked a cigarette. This is a decrease from 2013/14 whn 8% of boys and 7% of girls reported they had ever smoked a cigarette.

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The HSE gathers information from adults and children to monitor trends in the nation’s health.

In 2014/15 just 1% of children aged eight to 15 reported they smoked regularly (at least one cigarette per week).

Among non-smoking children aged four to 15, 34% of boys and 38% of girls had detectable levels of cotinine, a substance that indicates exposure to other people’s smoke.

The 2015 survey also included information on child health issues.

In 2015, 28% of children aged two to 15 were either overweight (14%) or obese (14%). The surveys show childhood obesity in England increased between 1995 and 2005, but has remained relatively stable at between 14% and 17% since 2008.

Physical activity guidelines of being moderately active for at least 60 minutes every day were met by just 22% of five- to 15-year-olds.

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