Bullying and body image are big issues for 15-year-olds, according to new study


When reminiscing about their schools years, many people will say they were the best of their life.

Spots, homework and the odd questionable fashion choice aside, they're often remembered fondly.

But a study of 120,000 15-year-olds across England suggests we may be looking back through rose-tinted glasses.

Bullying, body image insecurities and a dissatisfaction with life are just some of the issues teens are living with.

We've been asking you what it's like to be 15 today and lots of you have been getting in touch.

Key findings

Results chart

Bullying of one kind or another is a seemingly inescapable fact of life for many 15-year-olds today.

Over half said they'd been bullied at some point in the last couple of months, while a quarter admitted to dishing out the abuse themselves.

Cyberbulling is an issue we've dealt with a lot on Newsbeat and The Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) survey found that girls are twice as likely as boys to have been a victim of it.

We also hear a lot from you about body image.

The report found over a third of 15-year-olds think they're too fat, although on the positive side, just over half were happy with their size.

Drugs and drink are two things lots of teens will encounter at some point.

Sixty-two per cent said they'd drank before, but only 6% said they had at least one alcoholic drink a week.

Nearly one in four, though, have tried smoking.

A quarter of those who were questioned said they'd been offered cannabis, with one in 10 saying they'd taken up the offer and tried it.

Over half are pretty healthy eaters chomping down on five or more portions of fruit a day. Although fewer, just 14%, do an hour of exercise daily.

The HSCIC says it hopes the report will help families and people working in schools, colleges and health professions.

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