Dr Brooks looked at the responses of 5,000 young people aged ten to 15 to questions about their health-related behaviours and levels of happiness. The results show that:
- Young people who never drank any alcohol were between four and six times more likely to have higher levels of happiness than those who reported any alcohol consumption.
- Young people who smoked were about five times less likely to have high happiness scores compared to those who never smoked.
- Higher consumption of fruit and vegetables and lower consumption of crisps, sweets and fizzy drinks were both associated with high happiness.
- The more hours of sport young people participated in per week, the happier they were.
Researchers at the Institute for Social and Economic Research at the University of Essex believe the data shows that unhealthy behaviours such as smoking, drinking alcohol and taking no exercise are closely linked to substantially lower happines