Report shows strong sex differences in teenage health behaviour
- By: Bryan Christie
Strong sex differences have been found in the health behaviours of school age children across Europe and North America in one of the largest surveys ever carried out into young people's health.
The study, funded by the World Health Organization, is based on interviews with 162 000 young people, aged 11, 13, and 15 in 35 countries. It found that girls are more concerned about their body size, yet boys are more likely to be overweight.
Girls in all countries reported a poorer health status than boys did. Boys drink alcohol more regularly and are more likely to use cannabis and less likely to eat fruit.
When it comes to smoking, 11 year old boys are more likely than girls to have ever smoked, but this changes by age 15: in more than half the countries studied, more 15 year old girls reported ever having smoked, particularly in western Europe.