Report highlights worrying decline in adolescents’ mental and physical health in England

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  • The mental and physical health of those aged 11–15 years old is declining, with well-being falling especially among girls. Only 57% of young people met the survey’s criteria for high mood, and in contrast 19% were deemed at risk of depression. Nearly a quarter of young people reported feeling lonely in the past 12 months and loneliness was twice as prevalent among girls than boys.
  • Healthy eating habits were found to be declining, with only half of young people claiming to eat breakfast regularly and nearly a quarter never eating breakfast. Less than half of young people reported eating fruit and vegetables daily.
  • While physical activity had slightly increased among boys from 2018 to 2022, it remains low with only 21% meeting the WHO target for physical activity. The percentage of girls meeting the target remains at just 12%.

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