Helen Sweeting, who works for the Medical Research Council in Glasgow's Social and Public Health Unit, told a conference for home economics teachers that of 2,500 children born in or near the city around 1983 about a third suffered from generalised aches and pains in primary 7 but a half were afflicted by S2.
In S2, almost two-thirds suffered from stomach pains, colds, influenza and headaches compared with only 60 per cent in primary 7. Dr Sweeting said:
"Perhaps more of a surprise is that symptoms of malaise - possibly reflecting a psychological component - were described by so many. Half the 13-year-olds reported having recently suffered from nerves or anxiety and irritability or temper."