sports development

sport & physical activity academic resources

  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size

A snapshot of the health of young people in Europe

E-mail Print

This report focuses on EU27 countries (those belonging to the EU after January 2007) but also includes data from other European countries. It relies heavily on the valid and reliable information on the health status of 11-, 13- and 15-year-olds produced by the Health Behaviour in School-aged Children (HBSC) study, whose most recent report reflects the survey carried out in 2005/2006. It has been more challenging, however, to access valid, relevant data on health issues among 16–25-year-olds, who are the main focus of the European Commission Conference on Youth and Health. Much of the information that does exist on health, such as the EUROSTAT and WHO Health for all databases, is often not age and gender disaggregated.

The report shows that in general, young people do not suffer from serious and life-threatening communicable and noncommunicable diseases. Although deaths and disability caused by suicide and accidents in young people are considerable, the overall morbidity and mortality patterns of young people compare very favourably to, say, those of men aged 50–60 years.

But many of the health problems young people will encounter as adults – problems such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, stroke, cancers and mental disorders – will have their genesis in the child and adolescent years, even if they do not manifest at that time. There are therefore enormous opportunities for – and a clear responsibility to take – positive action on young people’s health to reduce these causes of adult morbidity and mortality. This points to the need for multisectoral action across Europe to address these important issues.



 editors comments   

Editor's comments - [   This report has been prepared by the WHO Regional Office for Europe to support the European Commission conference, Youth health initiative: be healthy, be yourself, held in Brussels, Belgium on 9 and 10 July 2009. The report offers a “snapshot” of the health of young people in Europe with data drawn from an extensive range of sources, but in particular the 2006 Health Behaviour in School-aged Children (HBCS) survey report. The HBSC report covers health behaviours of 11-, 13- and 15-year-olds; data on 16−25-year-olds, who are the main focus of the European Commission Conference on Youth and Health, are more difficult to find. This snapshot report nevertheless presents valid and informative data on a wide range of health issues that are important to young people, including injuries and accidents, mental health, overweight and obesity, physical activity and sedentary behaviour, substance misuse and sexual health.
]  Reference this?Cryer, J. (Year). This page title in italics. Retrieved date, from <this page's full URL>

In the text: Cryer (year)


APA reference for this document


Reference : WHO. (2009). A snapshot of the health of young people in Europe. Brussels: European Commission


The above reference is in the APA style: See why this is important in our [how to reference] us guide.


Download this document [Use of this document may be limited by © copyright ; by downloading you consent to our terms and conditions ]


Download this file (snapshotwho.pdf)snapshotwho.pdfWHO. (2009). A snapshot of the health of young people in Europe. Brussels: European Commission
Last Updated on Sunday, 25 October 2009 16:14  

Student Zone