Unhealthy teens are unlikely to be happy

Unhealthy teenagers in the UK may be more likely to be unhappy in their day-to-day lives, judging by new findings. Taken from articles managed by the Institute for Social and Economic Research at the University of Essex and published by the Understanding Society, the study suggested young people who choose to drink, smoke and eat junk food tend to be significantly less pleased with their lot than their peers.

According to the investigation, youths who never consume alcohol are between four and six times more likely to report high levels of happiness while those who use cigarettes are around five times less inclined to have elevated happiness scores.

In addition, it was found that eating fruit and vegetables as opposed to consuming sweets and fizzy drinks is more closely linked to being contented.

Director of the Understanding Society - which had an initial budget of £15.5 million - Professor Nick Buck said: "The findings provide a fascinating insight into UK society and predicted that some of the research would be influential in helping policy and decision makers."

Professor Martin Hagger from Curtin University, Western Australia, a Chartered Psychologist, commented: "The findings of this study are consistent with research that suggests that regular physical activity and eating a balanced diet increase mood and general subjective wellbeing and quality of life.

"However, we must also be mindful as to the reasons why some teenagers drink more than others. Often such behaviours may reflect underlying personal or social problems and compulsive eating or drinking to excess are known to be some of the ways that teenagers cope with such difficulties."