5. What young people are doing or not doing for their well-being and health

5.2. Young people’s behaviour and self-reported motives

What this is about

In our interviews, we discovered that young people understand the importance of a healthy diet and sufficient exercise. This is also supported by other studies that we examined for the youth report. According to these studies, more than two thirds of the young people surveyed stated that they ate fresh fruit and vegetables every day. Fewer young people – around a quarter of those surveyed – stated that they ate sweets and drank sugary drinks every day. Eating habits in Luxembourg showed signs of improvement during the period between 2006 and 2018. Things are different when it comes to young people and exercise: the proportion of students who are regularly physically active declined over the same period, and in Luxembourg is below the international average. In general, young people with a high socioeconomic status eat better and take more exercise than people with less money available and who rate their social status as lower.

Many young people strive for a healthy diet and exercise and try to avoid harmful influences such as smoking, excessive media and alcohol consumption, or even drug taking, because they want to stay healthy and feel physically well. In this chapter, we describe how successful they are and the influences to which they are exposed in doing so.