Swiss teens enjoy cannabis and dislike exercise, says global report

The country's 15-year-olds are average when it comes to alcohol and tobacco consumption. © Keystone / Alessandro Della Valle

An international survey shows that Swiss youngsters are at the top of the table when it comes to smoking cannabis but near the bottom when it comes to physical activity.  

This content was published on May 19, 2020 - 11:36

Published on Tuesday, data from the international HBSC study External linkcommissioned by the World Health Organization (WHO-Europe), provides an overview of the health behaviour of students in more than 40 countries. 

In terms of vices, cannabis is king among Swiss 15-year-olds. Around 27% of the boys surveyed admitted to using cannabis - the highest proportion in the survey - while 16% of the girls of the same age indulged at least once in their lifetime. The Alpine nation is also among the leaders when it came to being high in the last 30 days: 15% of boys and 9% of girls.  

The country’s teens have an statistically average exposure to alcohol. Around 13% of 15-year-old boys and 8% of 15-year-old girls report having been really drunk at least once in the month preceding the survey. The youngsters are also in the middle of the pack when it comes to smoking: 16% of 15-year-old boys and 14% of girls report having smoked cigarettes at least once in the past month. 

In terms of physical activity, only a minority of Swiss 15-year-olds follow the WHO recommendation and engage in moderate to sustained physical activity for at least 60 minutes a day - boys: 15% and girls: 8%. 

However, a significant number are getting their five portions of fruit and vegetables a day. The daily consumption of vegetables of 15-year-olds is good by international comparison (boys: 39%; girls: 49%), and even very good for fruit (boys: 33%; girls: 47%). 

The 2017/2018 survey report presents data from over 220,000 young people in 45 countries and regions in Europe and Canada. 

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