Scotlands Youngsters Kick The Bad Habits

There's new evidence to show young people in Scotland have become healthier over the last decade.

A study by Edinburgh University's found the number drinking alcohol at least once a week's fallen by over a third since 2001.

They also found teenagers are smoking less and have a much healthier diet.

However the results showed 11 to 15 year olds are still struggling to meet the recommended levels of physical excercise.

The research team questioned nearly 7 thousand young people to produce the report looking at changes in youngsters' wellbeing through the years.

Their responses showed the rate of daily smoking among 15-year-olds has fallen 5% since 2002, from 16% to 11%.

The number of young people drinking alcohol at least once a week dropped by more than a third, and experimental and regular cannabis use halved.

Daily sweet consumption reduced by a third, and consumption of crisps and chips halved.

Most young people (87%) said they were satisfied with their life, although happiness levels dipped.

There was an increase in the number of children reporting that their family was financially well off, and a higher percentage felt they could talk to their fathers about their problems.

TV viewing decreased, but despite this less than a fifth (19% of boys and 11% of girls) of those interviewed met Government guidelines on weekly exercise.

The findings from the Health Behaviours in School-aged Children (HBSC) Scotland National Report, funded by NHS Health Scotland, are published today.