Be Healthy – Introduction

Inequalities in health outcomes between the most affluent and disadvantaged members of society are longstanding, deep-seated and have proved difficult to change. In the early 2000s, in England, people living in the poorest neighbourhoods, could on average expect to die seven years earlier than people living in the richest neighbourhoods and spend far more of their lives with ill health[1]. Evidence that this disparity is seen as of great importance can be seen in the existence of strategies at both national and local level to address the problem.

Table1: Ranking of Bristol SOAs by health and disability component

Number of Bristol SOAs ranked in top 20% 7 6.7%
Number of Bristol SOAs ranked in second 20% 45 17.9%
Number of Bristol SOAs ranked in third 20% 56 22.2%
Number of Bristol SOAs ranked in fourth 20% 55 21.8%
Number of Bristol SOAs ranked in bottom 20% 79 31.3%

Source: Communities and Local Government, Child Well-being Index, 2009

The table above is based on the Health and Disability domain component of the Child Well-Being Index and clearly demonstrates the gulf between parts of the city: almost a third of the city lies in the bottom 20% of England’s least healthy areas. The next map is an even better demonstration of this inequality:

Figure 1: Map of Index of Child Well-Being (Health Deprivation and Disability)

Source: Association of Public Health Observatories

Within the Be Healthy strand of the Every Child Matters agenda are five specific aims, namely, children and young people should

  • be physically healthy
  • be mentally and emotionally healthy
  • be sexually healthy
  • lead healthy lifestyles
  • choose not to take illegal drugs

This chapter of the Needs Assessment will examine each of these five aims in turn, which, when taken together, constitute the overall health of children and young people in Bristol.

Back to Be Healthy page.

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