TEENAGERS say having a good social life and being open about emotions are important to being healthy.
Year 10 pupils at Priory School, in Southsea, were among thousands who took part in the You Say survey put together by Portsmouth City Council.
It’s really positive to see that young people in Portsmouth are choosing to lead healthier livesCouncillor Luke Stubbs
The survey asked Year 8 and Year 10 students about the health habits ranging from smoking and alcohol to healthy eating and relationships.
Jack Hickey, 14, said: ‘For me, being healthy is about having a good social life and being open about your thoughts.
‘Playing a lot of sports and eating good are important too but there needs to be good mental health and teaching students about having a healthy mind.’
Schools throughout Portsmouth hold lessons about substance misuse and the importance of being in good health.
Dan Stobbs, 14, said: ‘At school we hear real stories about people who are drug addicts or alcoholics and it really shows what can happen if you abuse substances.
‘Having that shock factor helps.’
For the pupils, adverts on television were ineffective. Molly Wyndham-Farmer, 15, added: ‘There are so many of them that a lot of the time you just think “it’s another advert” rather than the message they are trying to get across.
‘You will talk with your friends more about someone’s actual story and addiction than an advert you’ve seen.’
One of the questions in the survey was on body image and the students said social media platforms like Instagram are spreading what the perfect body is.
Lauren McNeil, 15, said: ‘There is nothing wrong with people getting fit but people our age need to know some of what you see is false. That is why our generation is healthier, there is so much emphasis on it on social media.’