Wales

A fifth of young people in Wales 'in poverty' report says

Boys running
Image caption The report says 81% of boys and 74% of girls aged 11-16 rate their health as good or excellent

A fifth of young people under 20 live in poverty in Wales, a new report says.

The Public Health Wales (PHW) Observatory report examined the health of young people looking at indicators like nutrition, physical activity and substance misuse.

It also looked at issues like income, housing and family environment.

The report found the poverty figure rose to a quarter in the south Wales valleys and also said almost a third of children aged four to five are obese.

PHW says most of Wales' one million young people up to the age of 24 are fit and healthy, but "action is needed to improve the health of a significant and unacceptable number".

Professor Peter Bradley, executive director of public health development for PHW, said: "It is great to see that the majority of Welsh children and young people are fit and healthy.

"However, this report provides a stark reminder that action is needed to improve the health of a significant and unacceptable number of children and young people.

"The impact of the recession and some deep-seated problems make this a challenging agenda."

Dr Pat Riordan, director of health and healthcare improvement for PHW, said: "Every child and young person in Wales has the right to be happy, healthy and safe.

"Sadly, this report shows that we are failing to guarantee this for some of Wales' children and young people."

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