National conference presents new HBSC report in Poland

Institute of Mother and Child, Poland

The Polish Ministry of Health, the Institute of Mother and Child, and the WHO Country Office in Poland organized on 15 March 2016 a national conference presenting the new HBSC report "Growing up unequal: gender and socioeconomic differences in young people's health and well-being".

The latest WHO study reveals that Polish teenagers, especially 13-year olds, have high levels of physical activity, which corresponds with diminishing rates of obesity. Dietary habits have also improved, like eating breakfast or eating more fruits and vegetables. This contradicts the self-perception especially of girls who sees themselves as obese.

Alcohol, drugs, smoking and other risk behaviours like dieting or early sexual initiation are still important health problems among Polish school-aged children.

The Polish national HBSC study identified several key findings.

  • 68% of 15-year-old girls and 83% of boys are satisfied with their life.
  • 61% of 15-year-old girls and 61% of boys feel obese.
  • 13% of 15-year-old girls and 22% of boys are overweight or obese.
  • 26% of 15-year-old girls and 26% of boys got drunk at least 1 time in their life.

The WHO report covers 42 countries in Europe and North America. Results are analysed by 340 in-country researchers supported and coordinated by the International Coordinating Centre at the University of St Andrews in Scotland (United Kingdom) and the Data Management Centre at the University of Bergen in Norway. Poland has a long history of participating in the study. The main investigator is the Institute of Mother and Child, which has participated since the second HBSC study.