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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


Increasingly, addressing gambling related harm is being considered a public health issue and the Gambling Act 2005 specifically singles out children as a vulnerable group who should be protected from being harmed or exploited by gambling. Young people in the UK are growing up with ready access to online environments and because a lot of gambling activity occurs online, they may be more easily targeted. Most gambling is legal from age 18. The National Lottery and football pools have a minimum age of 16 years, and low stakes gambling machines (such as fruit machines) can be played at any age. Informal private gambling (such as between friends) is unregulated.

37% of 11-16 year olds in Great Britain had gambled in the last year (9% in the last week)Rates of problem gambling across 10-24 year vary by survey.  Different surveys use different questions and scales.  Data on gambling among 11-16 year olds are provided by regular Ipsos Mori surveys undertaken for the Gambling Commission (Gambling Commission, 2020).  Drawing on a representative sample of approximately 3,000 young people in England, Scotland and Wales, this survey has been administered since 2011.  A third (37%) of this age group had spent their own money on gambling in the last year, with 9% gambling in the last week.  This included making private bets, buying scratch cards, playing fruit/slot machines and playing cards.  Note that these data predate the Covid-19 lockdowns.

16-24 year olds in England had engaged in some kind of gambling activity over the last 12 monthsData on gambling in 16-24 year olds are provided by the Health Survey for England.  In the 2018 survey, 39% of this age group had engaged in some kind of gambling activity over the last 12 months, the majority of which was National Lottery draws.  A smaller proportion (11%) had engaged in online gambling.  These rates are slightly lower than previous years. According to a standard problem gambling scale, 0.8% of the age group were classified as meeting the DSM-IV criteria for problem gambling (NHS Digital, 2019b).

All data correct as of 1st November 2021