“Pumped” Schools’ Video Awards Competition Launched- in partnership with FIS and the Irish Heart Foundation supported by Bayer
New Teen Health & Lifestyle Survey Reveals Interesting Results
- As many as three in five teens eat fast food at least weekly
- One in three have soft drinks at least daily
- Only half of teens eat five servings of fruit and vegetables
- Only one in three identified the national guideline of 60 minutes’ physical activity every day
A survey of 500 teenagers has yielded some interesting attitudes among young people when it comes to their health. Details of the survey by Behaviour and Attitudes were revealed to coincide with the launch of the second year of the Pumped Schools’ Video Awards by Ireland and Leinster Rugby player, Fergus McFadden and Olympic Pentathlete, Natalya Coyle – for more, see www.pumped.ie.
The awards, supported by Bayer in association with the Irish Heart Foundation and the Federation of Irish Sport, seek to encourage young people to get creative about science and health and produce 90-second videos on a heart health topic. With obesity a huge public health issue in Ireland, and too many young people not active enough and eating the wrong foods, the idea behind these innovative awards is to get teenagers interested in science from an early age, in particular the science behind heart health, and the impact of diet and exercise on their lives. The awards come with a first prize of €5,000 to the winning school and a tablet computer for each team member, along with a number of exciting runner-up prizes. One entry is allowed per school and team members must be under 16 years of age.
Amongst the key highlights from the research survey were:
- Three in five (58%) eat fast food at least weekly, yet just one in ten (12%) teens feel that they don’t eat sensibly, while just 7% believe that they may not be the correct weight
- Three in ten (31%) say that they eat a lot of junk food and slightly more (34%) that they have soft drinks at least daily. Boys fare slightly worse on both counts (34% and 38% respectively)
- Just half of teenagers (52%) eat the recommended five servings of fruit and vegetables daily (evenly split male to female)
- 34% identified the national guidelines of 60 minutes’ physical activity every day while only 21% were aware that they should be getting two hours of physical education in school each week
- Males continue to display higher physical activity levels (46% daily) than their female peers (39% daily)
- Three quarter of boys (76%) and just over half of girls (54%) take part in team sports with only hockey, camogie, GAA and basketball being participated in by girls on a significant scale. Many girls’ physical activity is confined to walking with 39% saying that this was their main source of physical activity
- The good news is that the vast majority of teens feel happy (97%), feel great mentally (93%) and feel great physically (88%)
- However, when asked whether they would prefer to look good or feel healthy, 16% said that they would prefer to look good
- Specifically, in relation to their heart health, 14% of teens surveyed indicated that they were concerned about this
Ireland and Leinster Rugby player, Fergus McFadden, commented: “It’s so important that we get the message out to young people about the need to take a close look at what they are eating and how much exercise they are taking. No one is better placed to communicate health messages to their peers in a language that they understand, and in a way that will have real “staying” power, than teenagers themselves – they are their own best role models. That’s why the Pumped Schools’ Video Awards are a really good opportunity to get teens thinking at an early stage in their lives about the science behind heart health, researching it for themselves, and seeing how even small lifestyle changes can have real long-term health benefits. Plus, with some really great prizes on offer, teams could be bagging some pretty cool merchandise too.”
Maureen Mulvihill, Health Promotion Manager, Irish Heart Foundation said: “These findings show that teenagers have a lot on their plate not only at school but literally as well, because many are eating too much unhealthy food. The high consumption of fast food and soft drinks – both high in calories – is of particular concern, especially as 1 in 5 young people is overweight or obese. Projects like Pumped are part of the mix to help educate our young people on how to live a healthy lifestyle. We know that an obese adolescent is more likely to become an obese adult and already show early signs of cardiovascular disease such as elevated blood pressure and high cholesterol as well as having an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Lifestyle and prevention education at school through innovative projects like Pumped is key, because our young people are more likely to carry lifestyle habits learned during their younger years into adulthood.”
Sarah O’Connor, Chief Executive, Federation of Irish Sport, noted: “We would be concerned that only 34% of teens are aware that they should be getting 60 minutes of exercise per day necessary for optimum health as set out in international as well as domestic guidelines on physical activity. The survey results also indicate that there is much work still to be done around ensuring teenage girls remain involved in physical activity and in particular, partake in team sports which can provide very beneficial social and team-building skills for later life as well as a sense of belonging.”
Sinead Duffy, Head of Communications, Bayer, added: “We are delighted to launch the Pumped Schools’ Video Awards and to start a fun conversation with young people about the contribution of science to heart health. For over 150 years, Bayer has been a world leader in developing science for a better life and enhancing people’s health. With these awards, we want to encourage that sense of flair and innovation among teens by asking them to use all their incredible creativity and ingenuity in producing videos that hook their peers, cause them to sit up and take notice of the issues, and to take control of their health for a better future.”
More information on the Pumped Schools’ Video Awards competition can be found at www.pumped.ie and the closing date is December 2 2013.