Irish kids happier and healthier than UK kids
12th November 2009
Children in Ireland are healthier and happier compared to children in England, Scotland and Wales, a new survey has found.
The survey by NUI Galway researchers in collaboration with the World Health Organization, looked at issues like health, wellbeing, eating patterns, physical activity, substance use, family and peer relationships and school life of more than 20,000 children aged 11-15 years.
The 136-page report ‘Young People’s Health in Great Britain and Ireland’ found that
Irish children were more likely than their UK counterparts to report high life satisfaction, and less likely to report feeling low or having poor body image.
Irish children were also more likely to engage in physical activity and less likely to spend excessive time on computers or on games console use.
They are also most likely to live with both parents and in bigger households, to report that they are able to talk to their fathers about things that bother them and to spend time with friends after school.
“This report goes into greater depth on these issues than we have ever had before, showing differences between boys and girls, age groups and children from different family backgrounds,” researcher Saoirse Nic Gabhainn from NUI Galway said.
“It also suggests that it is important not just to borrow unquestioningly from UK policy and practice when we are trying to improve child health – but that we need to work out where we are similar and where we are not and be more selective in what we do.”