Disparities in health between rich and poor adolescents grew globally during the first decade of this century, according to a survey conducted in 34 countries in Europe and North America.
The study, published in the Lancet, reports that “socioeconomic differences across multiple areas of adolescent mental and physical health increased between 2002 and 2010.”
According to the research, adolescents from the most impoverished socioeconomic groups are more likely to suffer from poor health thanks to diminished physical activity and larger body mass indices.
“A strong international focus on reducing child poverty and mortality in children under five years has not been matched by a similar response in older age groups, resulting in widening socioeconomic inequalities in adolescent health,” says Frank Elgar, a psychiatry professor at McGill University in Montreal.
Researchers behind the study relied on data compiled from 500,000 young people from across Europe and North America who participated in a World Health Organization survey.