Anorak News | From The Mouths Of Babes

From The Mouths Of Babes

by | 4th, June 2004

‘THANKS to the World Health Organisation (WHO), we know one vital fact about Malta.

‘Where’s Greenland?’

The Guardian reports that a WHO study of 11 to 15-years-olds in 35 countries has found that just 12% of boys in Malta clean their teeth every day.

Clearly this is less than a perfect number, but it’s hard to gauge how terrible it really is because the paper forgets to tell us the state of dental play in the mouths of British youth.

But the survey does suggest that you’d be every bit as likely to find decay in the mouth of a young Brit as you would in his Maltese equivalent.

The Times shows, by means of a graph, that between a third and a half of all British teens down at least one can of fizzy drink a day.

What’s more, Scottish 11-year-olds are behind only the Netherlands and those foul-mouthed Maltese in terms of daily sweet consumption.

Not that sweets are all Britain’s future leaders and baggage handlers enjoy putting in their mouths.

We are No.1 when it comes to teenage alcohol drinking, with a third of English 13-year-olds drinking alcohol once a week, narrowly pipping the Welsh to the top spot.

And we are only Greenland’s No.2 when it comes to teenage sex.

The Guardian shows that while 79% of all 15-year-old girls in Greenland have had sex, the figure for both England and Wales is 40%, dropping to 35% in a relatively chaste Scotland.

The WHO’s report, entitled Young People’s Health In Context, also shows that while 67% of all 15-year-old girls living in Greenland are regular smokers, only 16% of their British peers share the habit.

This last statistic may have something to do with the purge on smoking, and the associated decline in the popularity of the post-coital fag.

But it may just mean that the British teens responding to the survey misinterpreted the questions.

After all, how do you get a sensible answer from a pissed teenager with a mouth full of rotten teeth and piercings?’

Posted: 4th, June 2004 | In: Broadsheets Comment | TrackBack | Permalink