WHO report on health behaviour in children receives prestigious award

The new WHO publication “Social determinants of health and well-being among young people. Health Behaviour in School-aged Children (HBSC) study: international report from the 2009/2010 survey” was highly commended in the health and social care category of the 2013 British Medical Association (BMA) Medical Book Competition.

In their recommendation, the reviewers said they would: “highly recommend this report to anyone working in research or policy formation on health inequalities in young people … . This is an exceptionally well presented research report with findings of considerable interest to researchers, policy makers and practitioners”.

The BMA Competition aims to encourage and reward excellence in medical publishing. Prizes are awarded in 21 categories, with an overall BMA Medical Book of the Year selected from among the category winners. Ms Vivian Barnekow, Technical Officer from the Division of Noncommunicable Diseases and Life-course at WHO/Europe, and Professor Candace Currie, the study’s international coordinator, of St Andrews University in the United Kingdom, attended the awards ceremony on 17 September in London.

About the Health Behaviour in School-aged Children (HBSC) study

HBSC is a WHO collaborative study conducted in 43 countries. It examines the physical and mental health of children and teenagers from a sociological perspective. Its reports provide a wealth of information and analysis, presenting findings on patterns of health among young people aged 11, 13, and 15 years in countries across the WHO European Region and North America. International reports are issued every 4 years, and are widely used by policy-makers and professionals.

Based on over 200 000 interviews, the international report from the 2009/2010 survey focuses on health and well-being among young adults, and particularly social determinants that can subsequently have a negative influence on health. It identifies and discusses the extent of inequalities according to socioeconomic status, age and gender, and highlights the need for preventive action to change this vulnerable stage of life into a time of opportunity. The report’s objective is to “support the development of evidence-based and coherent policy frameworks capable of addressing the present and forecasting future challenges to population health”. The publication was the most popular on the WHO/Europe web site in 2012.

A WHO publication on noise was highly commended in the in the public health category of the 2012 BMA Competition.