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Cardiff kids take care of their health

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by Cancer Research UK | News

13 August 2002

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Cardiff children worry about their health and would change their habits to reduce the risk of illness in the future.

Almost 80 per cent of children aged between 10 and 16 confessed to having health fears when quizzed in a Cancer Research UK survey1. And while the majority do eat vegetables once a day and don’t smoke they still want to make any lifestyle changes necessary to benefit their health in the future.

More than half said they were excited by science. But boys would rather become a sportsman than a scientist and girls preferred to dream about being a pop star than training to be a nurse or doctor.

The children answered questions on science, health and lifestyle habits at Tomorrow’s World roadshow in the city centre where they were entertained by a travelling pop band, created by Cancer Research UK.

The all-singing, all-dancing band performed a music spectacular designed to inform teenagers about science and cancer.

The band has been performing with the help of an interactive space capsule and science information robot to help put across the charity’s message: to overcome cancer through education, fundraising, recruitment, lifestyle and research.

By stimulating children’s interest in science the charity is hoping that more youngsters will be inspired to take up a career working in the fight against cancer.

While one third of 10-12 year old Cardiff boys questioned claimed they smoked, the figure halved in the 13-16 age group.

But while no girls in the 10-12 age group admitted to smoking a fifth of those questioned in the 13-16 group said they smoked.

The vast majority of the children said they protected their skin in the sun sometimes with more than half the girls saying they always used sun protection.

Dr Lesley Walker, Director of Information at Cancer Research UK, says:: “We know that children aged 11 to 16 are actively making decisions that will influence their future health.

“It’s crucial that Cancer Research UK gets in early to inform these kids and encourages them to form healthy habits for life. Using a pop band to get this message across is a fantastic idea.

“It’s very easy to presume that we know how kids feel. We believe that we have a lot to learn about children’s attitudes and their aspirations for the future and the more we understand, the easier it will be for us to help.”

ENDS

  1. Around 500 people took part in the survey