Adolescents have remarkable health

Adolescents have remarkable health

Adolescents are very optimistic about their health assessment. / RC

Survey of the Spanish Association of Pediatrics

This is what 72% does, although they practice physical exercise and consume much lower percentages of fruits and vegetables


Only half of adolescents aged 12 to 18 eat fruit daily or almost daily, while one in four hardly consumes it during the week. Male adolescents usually spend more time playing sports than adolescent women; but in any case, this time decreases with increasing age. More than one
70% of them rate their health as remarkable or higher. This is some data extracted from
survey “Do you care about yourself as much as you think?”, promoted by the Spanish Association of Pediatricians (AEP)through its Health Promotion Committee under the “PROMESA project” (a platform for restructuring and multidisciplinary organization of adolescent health strategies) with a view to
know the health habits of young people aged 12 to 18. In this survey, whose data were collected between March and May 2019, more than
2,300 young people in these age groups.

“These data, which may have been adversely affected by the outbreak of the SARS-Cov-2 pandemic, show that we must continue to
to communicate to adolescents the importance of maintaining healthy lifestyle habits. Some habits that will affect their health in adulthood, and thus their quality of life, “he appreciates
María José Mellado, President of AEP.

26% eat sweets daily or several times a week and only half consume fruit or vegetables

Dr. Julio Álvarez Pitti, a member of the Physical Activity Committee for Health Promotion of the Spanish Association of Pediatrics (AEP), ensures that it is “highly likely that
data on obesity and overweight were adjusted by the pandemic. During imprisonment and current restrictions
teens do not do school physical activities and after school they were used to it.
Today’s reality favors a sedentary lifestyle and the pressure to which adolescents are exposed sometimes transforms into unhealthy eating behavior.

42% of 17-year-old respondents had sexual intercourse, which rose to 61% at the age of 18

Last September, the results of the fourth wave of the Study on Food, Physical Activity, Child Development and Obesity in Spain (ALADINO) were presented, which show
a declining trend of overweight since 2011 and stabilization compared to 2015, for the Spanish population between 6 and 9 years in our country. When analyzing the results of both studies, it is interesting to verify
parallelism of data and behavioral habits, be population groups in different age groups.

Eating habits

According to a survey
“Do you care as much as you think?”, 70% of teens eat breakfast every day, this number decreases with advancing age and registration
the lowest percentage at the age of 18. Fruits and vegetables are another “neglected” habit of adolescents
the percentage that consumes these foods daily is 50% compared to 25% who do not consume fruit or vegetables during the week.

Sweets are becoming one of the most common foods in adolescents’ diets on a daily basis, because more than 26% consume these products daily or several times a week.

Physical exercise and leisure

Like other healthy habits,
hours of physical exercise decrease with increasing age of adolescents. 21% of adolescents have achieved WHO recommendations to perform one hour of daily exercise, compared to
62% who recognize exercise for at least 4-5 hours a week. As far as leisure time is concerned, the highest and homogeneous data show this
more than 40% of teens spend more than 3 hours a day chatting.

According to the ALADINO study, a similar pattern is repeated among the smallest because it shows this
24% of boys and girls spend 3 hours a day on sedentary activities outside of school.

Sexual intercourse

The survey ensures that 11% of respondents confirm that they have used tobacco in the last 30 days, a percentage that increases again with age. 5% admit that they have tried hashish and cannabis, which is a more common habit in men (27.98% in men aged 18-18).

Of adolescents who claim to have had sexual intercourse (42.70% of 17-year-old respondents, a figure that rises to 61.38% at the age of 18) condoms are the most common method of contraception (78%). However, a high number of men between the ages of 12 and 15 have been identified to confirm their use
“Go back” as a method of contraception. “These figures are worrying because there are many teenagers who are getting younger and have sex without protective measures.
Parents should know these numbers to ensure adequate sexual and health education in accordance with an expert, “says Dr. Gerardo Rodríguez, Coordinator of the AEP Health Promotion Committee.

Personal health

Men have a higher percentage of overweight than women, calculated according to BMI standards for age and gender, however, their perception of their weight is better than that of women.
While 26.14% of men surveyed are overweight, only 10.24% believe they are; In the case of women, both numbers are 18% (18.61% are overweight, 18.11% believe they are).

On the other hand,
72.10% of respondents evaluate their health remarkably (7 or more out of 10), data reported by 68.02% of girls and 80% of boys.

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