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Public health outcomes

In this section we present data for some of the public health outcomes that are most relevant to young people 10-24, particularly those relating to health behaviours.  Separate sections present data on life expectancy, mental health and sexual health.

Only 1 in 8 young people in the UK eat 5 portions of fruit and vegetables every day

Dental health

There has not been a Children’s Dental Health Survey in England since 2013 (HSCIC, 2015). At that time a third of 12 year olds (24%) and nearly half of 15 year olds (46%) had decay in their permanent teeth. More than a quarter of 15 year olds reported being embarrassed to smile or laugh due to the condition of their teeth. Young people who were eligible for free school meals were twice as likely to have severe or extensive tooth decay.

In 2015 a third of 12 year olds (24%) and nearly half of 15 year olds (46%) had decay in their permanent teeth HSCIC, 2015There were some data on children’s dental health in the 2019 Health Survey for England; in the previous six month period 7% of 11-12 year olds and 11% of 13-15 year olds had time off due to problems with their teeth, mouth or gums (NHS Digital, 2020). However some of this will have been for brace fitting or adjustments, which could be regarded as preventative.

The last adult dental health survey in England was in 2009 and there are very few sources of any data about the current state of dental health for 16-24 year olds, or the proportions registered with dentists. In 2020 Public Health England published a report on the dental health of adults attending general dental practices, but this does not give us population level data.

All data correct as of 1st November 2021