Levels of self-harming in Worthing higher than average

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A TOTAL of 332 people from Worthing spent time in hospital for self-harming between 2010 and 2011 – much higher than the English average of 212 people within that same time frame.

This is just one of a number of interesting statistics revealed in health profiles for each local authority area across the country.

They were compiled by the Association of Public Health Observatories using council, NHS and government information, and show whether Worthing falls above or below the national average in each category.

Worthing fared better in the obese children category, which showed that in year six in 2010-11 there were 149 categorised as obese, equating to 16.4 per cent. The national average for England was 19 per cent.

The figure is revealed at a time when young people across the county are being asked their views on how to stay healthy.

A poll has been launched this week on YourSpace – a website targeted at teenagers within the county – asking them how important it is to stay healthy and what support they may need to help them.

The poll, led by the West Sussex public health team, hopes to encourage young people to voice their opinions and give insight into how they perceive their weight and the amount of physical activity they do.

Sue Carmichael, healthy weight lead for West Sussex, said: “Eating healthy food and taking regular exercise are widely acknowledged as vital to the physical and psychosocial development of young people. These lifestyle factors have important implications for future health as adults and establishing good habits during childhood is crucial to combating rates of obesity.

“We hope that by having this poll available to young people in West Sussex, it will encourage them to think about their own lifestyles and how they can do more to maintain a healthy weight.”

However, while children were doing better in terms of obesity, the number of obese adults for 2011 was slightly higher than the national average of 24.2 per cent, sitting at 25.1 per cent.

Other statistics show that in 2011 in the town, 4.8 per cent of people were long-term unemployed, lower than the English average of 5.7 per cent. The rate of hospital stays for alcohol-related harm is worse than the English average, while rates of sexually transmitted infections and road injuries and deaths are better.

The average life expectancy for a Worthing man between 2008 and 2010 was 77.6, against a national average of 78.6.

Women did better, with an average age of 82.5, which was only just below the national average of 82.6.

For more statistics, visit www.apho.org.uk