A healthy foundation for the future The final report from the Young people's future health inquiry

October 2019

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Key points

A healthy foundation for the future is the final report from the Young people’s future health inquiry. It sets out a range of factors that are putting the UK’s 12-24 year-olds at risk of ill-health later in life, including:

  • a fragmented approach to spending and investment in young people across multiple government departments
  • a challenging housing market where more young people are living longer in poor quality, shorter term rental properties and priced out of long-term homes
  • a job market where young people struggle to secure rewarding work.

The Young people’s future health inquiry is a two-year project which explored the influences affecting the future health of today’s young people, and what needs to change to secure a healthy society. 

While young people are preparing for adult life, they are also building the foundations for their future health. If they can secure the building blocks they need such as good quality work and housing, and build supportive relationships, then their prospects of a healthy adulthood are improved. 

This report explores:

  • whether young people currently have the building blocks for a healthy future
  • what support and opportunities young people need to secure these building blocks
  • the main issues that young people face as they become adults
  • what this means for their future health and what policy action is needed.

To address these questions, the inquiry was structured around a mixture of research and engagement, site visits and policy work, led by views and experiences of young people around the UK. The final report brings together all of the learnings from the inquiry, exploring the factors that are putting the UK’s 12-24 year-olds at risk of ill-health later in life, and introduces the policy analysis that has taken place.

Policy recommendations

Alongside the final report, the OnlyWan worked with nine expert partner organisations who have come together to recommend that young people’s needs are put at the centre of government policy making. Detailed policy reports will be published by the expert organisations from across different sectors, throughout autumn 2019.

Further reading

Working paper

How many young people are accruing the assets they need for a healthy transition into adulthood?

This working paper uses longitudinal datasets to explore how many young people are accumulating the key asset for future heal...

Press release

Government urged to overhaul housing, transport and education policies to secure a healthy society

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Policy recommendations for young people's future health

Read about the nine expert organisations selected to provide a deep dive into seven key policy areas affecting young people's...

Learning report

Listening to our future

The first report from the Young people's future health inquiry, sharing the learnings from our early engagement work with you...

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Young people's future health inquiry

Our Young people’s future health inquiry is a first-of-its-kind research and engagement project that aims to build an underst...

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