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Health Inequalities

Health outcomes

In this section we provide a unique collection of data illustrating the differences that young people age 10-24 can experience in their physical and mental health outcomes. 

In 2021 there was a 16.6% gap between obesity rates in 10/11 year olds in the least and most deprived areas

Coming full circle in the model

In our briefing paper ‘Clarifying what we mean by health inequalities for young people’, we provided a conceptual model to explain the causes, levers and outcomes of health inequalities. We reflected on how the health status of a young person influences their ability to fully engage in society, for example impacting their participation in things like school and work. Poor health outcomes can then perpetuate the “social determinants” and other levers within the system.

There are limited data available to demonstrate this bidirectional relationship between causes and outcomes of ill health. However, in charts HO18 and HO19 we can see how a young person’s mental health impacts on their health behaviours. Young people with a possible or probable mental health disorder are more likely, compared to young people without a disorder, to drink regularly and use drugs. As we have discussed, regular use of harmful substances can potentially lead to poorer health outcomes for young people later in life.

Chart HO18: Young people with a possible mental health disorder are more likely to drink on a regular basis, the difference is stronger for the younger age group
Chart HO19: Young people with mental health disorders are much more likely to use drugs regularly compared to young people without a disorder, and drug use has increased for young people with a disorder

All data correct as of 1st May 2022