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Survey - lifestyle, health-related behaviour and attitudes 28 October 2005

    The 2005 Survey of the Health and Lifestyle Study in Children (HLSC) will be launched next month.

    The Study is the work of the Department of Education, the Chief Secretary’s Strategy Unit and Department of Health and Social Security.

    The School Survey Programme was initiated in 2001 with the first survey of 12/13 and 14/15 year olds. In 2003 the 10/11 year olds or year 6 of primary schools participated for the first time. In 2005 all three age groups in all schools across the Island will be invited to take part again.

    Those accepting to take part will be asked to fill in a questionnaire covering aspects of lifestyle, behaviour and attitudes. The issues looked at will include nutrition, leisure time, physical activity, friends and school, computer use and factors like smoking, bullying, injuries, alcohol and illicit substances.

    The HLSC has full approval from the Island’s Local Research Ethics Committee.

    The idea of carrying out these surveys every two years is to provide reliable sources of information for government and enhance the value of other information produced by government agencies. They help departments in their planning of services and as the study evolved and more information is gathered, trends emerge. The series of surveys will allow detection in any overall change in young people’s lifestyle which will be helpful to government.

    Dr Andreea Steriu, HLSC Coordinator said: “Lifestyle is a dominant health determinant; it is now well documented that timely detection of attitudes and behaviour towards a less healthy lifestyle may be influenced through health education and this will further have a major impact in the individual’s and ultimately the Island’s adult population’s health and well-being. HLSC will remain an invaluable source of information for the Island. It is letting us understand what health-related behaviour and attitudes do our young people adopt and how have they changed with time. The Study is also a leading example of multi-agency work with a small but dedicated research team to whom I thank for all their hard work”.

    All schools have agreed to participate and we also hope that all selected children will participate. Parents will know when their child will be invited as they will receive a letter from the research team in the Department of Education.

    The survey will start and continue through November and first week in December. We expect a very high participation like with the previous two surveys (2001 and 2003). Results will be available early next spring.

    John Cain, Director, Department of Education said: “ The Survey provides very valuable information about the lifestyles of the Islands young people. It is interesting for them to participate in it and helps them to reflect upon how they live"

    28th October 2005

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