The health and wellbeing of young people, an important indicator of Australia's future population health, is declining. This development is of immense social significance. It has implications not only for how we deal with specific current concerns such as child abuse and neglect, obesity, media sexualisation of children, and binge drinking, but for national priorities and public policy more broadly.
With the possible exception of increasing wealth, improving health is the most widely used measure of human progress. Wealth has only ever been a means to the end of a better life; health is a core component of that end. If health is not improving, it is hard to sustain the belief that, as a society we are making progress.