Child and adolescent health
Most children and adolescents in Sweden report that they have good health. Children in Sweden have good lifestyle habits compared to children in many other European countries. The lifestyle habits of adolescents are also largely improving. A decreasing number of adolescents have been drunk, smoke or take snuff. Eating habits have improved over time as well.
However, the study "Health Behaviour in School-aged Children" (HBSC) shows that mental ill-health among children and adolescents in Sweden, measured by using self-reported mental and somatic symptoms such as headaches, feeling low and difficulties in getting to sleep, has increased among 13- and 15-year-olds. Among 15-year-old girls the proportion of those who report that they have at least two forms of problems more than once a week has increased from 29 percent in 1985–1986 to 57 percent in 2013–2014. Among 15-year-old boys the proportion increased from 15 to 31 percent. No clear changes have taken place among 11-year-olds. In this age group between 2013–2014 approximately 30 percent of girls and approximately 20 percent of boys reported that they have at least two health complaints more than once a week. The increase among 13 and 15-year-olds has also been greater in Sweden than in other European countries.
The Public Health Agency of Sweden is responsible for collecting and disseminating knowledge of children's health and inspiring the use of effective initiatives which promote health and prevent ill-health among children and adolescents. The monitoring of health of children and adolescents over time and how factors impacting health change over time are important instruments in this work. The Agency also participates in the "Health Behaviour in School-aged Children" (HBSC) study, a collaborative WHO project.
The following report is in Swedish but contains a summary in English on page 8.