This section covers statistics and information on lifestyle and behavioural factors among children: Alcohol Consumption, Diet and Nutrition, Drug Use, Healthy Weight, Physical Activity, and Smoking and Vaping.
Lifestyle and behaviour among children and young people, particularly the youngest age groups, will be determined by parents, carers, grandparents, relatives and other people around them. Thus if parents choose unhealthy lifestyle behaviours, their children are more likely to undertake these healthy behaviours. Children often have less influence over their diet, and other lifestyle behaviours such as taking part in sports and activities outside school, as well as less ability to instigate change in these behaviours. Children growing up among smokers are twice as likely to become addicted to smoking themselves.
The association between health and wellbeing, and these behavioural and lifestyle factors is complex. Whilst these behavioural and lifestyle factors influence health and wellbeing and increase the risk of numerous diseases and medical conditions, poor health and wellbeing can also increase the likelihood of having an unhealthy lifestyle. For example, it is well known that people with poor mental health are much more likely to smoke and have unhealthier lifestyles, which exacerbates their poor mental and physical health.
Furthermore, mental health can also influence physical health, and physical health can also influence mental health. This can further influence behavioural and lifestyle factors as well as affecting other important areas of life such as educational and future employment opportunities, because of physical disabilities, stress, confidence, motivation, etc.
Information is also available on these factors for adults under Lifestyle Factors under Adults, and have also been collected within Hull’s Adult and Young People Health and Wellbeing Surveys and full reports are available under Surveys within Tools and Resources. The majority of the local surveys involved young people and adults aged 16+ years, so there is some information relating to young adults aged 16-24 years included in these adult surveys.
Qualitative research has also been undertaken in Hull which involved young people. This was mainly focused on opinions related to these behavioural and lifestyle risk factors.
Whilst the way individuals live their lives in terms of healthy or unhealthy lifestyles and behaviours can have a dramatic effect on health and wellbeing, other general socio-economic, cultural and environmental conditions can also have a similarly dramatic effect on health and wellbeing. More information on these wider determinants of health can be found under Health and Wellbeing Influences.
This page was last updated / checked on 21 February 2023.
This page is due to be updated / checked in March 2024.