A locally commissioned survey of young people (aged 11-19) in Hackney in 2012 (carried out by Rockpool Associates) asked about a range of health behaviours, including dietary habits. 3  This survey (involving a sample size of 844) found that only 15% reached the ‘5-a-day’ target, which is much lower than the 56% reported for Hackney 15 year olds in the national What About YOUth survey (WAY). 4  It is difficult to draw any conclusions from these data, however, as they cover different age groups and use different methods.

The Rockpool survey found that the least popular foods among local 11-19 year old respondents were salad, fruit and vegetables, while the most popular were pasta, pizza, chicken and chips. This suggests that young people’s dietary behaviours are largely not driven by health concerns, as the majority (76%) also said that ‘vegetables’ is what healthy food means to them.

Takeaways are popular among young people in Hackney (see Figure 6), with over half of 11-19 year olds surveyed saying they eat takeaways at least once a week and just under 10% doing so every day. Other findings from the Rockpool survey show that just over a third (39%) of young people eat takeaways in place of a school meal at least one a week, and for a similar proportion takeaways are eaten as a snack on the way home; 13% say they have a takeaway in place of a main meal at least once a week.

The comparatively high levels of child obesity in City and Hackney (see Children and young people JSNA chapter) may be considered an indicator of poor dietary behaviour in local young people.

Figure 6: Reported frequency of eating takeaways among young people in Hackney (age 11-19, 2012)

Twenty-six percent of people reported eating takeaways 1-2 days per week
Figure 6: Reported frequency of eating takeaways among young people in Hackney (age 11-19, 2012)

Source: Rockpool survey, Healthy lives in Hackney (2012)

Young people were also asked in this survey what would help them be healthier in terms of their diet.  Figure 7 shows that healthier takeaway options were most commonly mentioned, followed by better school menus.

Figure 7: Suggestions from Hackney young people to help them be healthier (age 11-19, 2012)

Fourty-seven percent of young people report 'Healthier options in takeaways' will help them be healthier
Figure 7: Suggestions from Hackney young people to help them be healthier (age 11-19, 2012)

Source: Rockpool survey, Healthy lives in Hackney (2012)

References

  1. Rockpool Research Associates , “Healthy lives in Hackney: Young people’s health behaviours and attitudes,” 2012.
  2. Ipsos MORI, “Health and Wellbeing of 15 year olds in England,” HSCIC, London, 2015.
  3. Rockpool Research Associates , “Healthy lives in Hackney: Young people’s health behaviours and attitudes,” 2012.
  4. Ipsos MORI, “Health and Wellbeing of 15 year olds in England,” HSCIC, London, 2015.