For Release: June 7, 2012 – Pamela Williams, Office of Communications – (405) 271-5601
Health Behaviors Improve Among Oklahoma Youth
Health behaviors in Oklahoma’s youth are improving in some key areas, the Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) announced today. The OSDH released results from its 2011 Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS), developed by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and conducted statewide in 2011 by OSDH in collaboration with the Oklahoma State Department of Education and local school districts.
The YRBS measures self-reported risk-taking behaviors among high-school age adolescents to monitor those behaviors that contribute to the leading causes of death, disability and major social problems, and increased health care costs among adolescents in the U.S. In Oklahoma, the YRBS was administered in 2003, 2005, 2007, 2009, and again in the spring of 2011, when 1,147 students in 36 public high schools participated.
State public health officials noted these positive findings when reviewing the 2011 data with results from the 2003 data:
- The percentage of students who smoked on a daily basis decreased from 17.5 percent in 2003 to 11.8 percent in 2011.
- The 2011 results indicate 50 percent of students had ever tried cigarette smoking, down from 64.1 percent in 2003. In addition, the percentage of students who smoked a whole cigarette before the age of 13 decreased significantly from 23.7 percent in 2003 to 10.0 percent in 2011.
- The percentage of students who used methamphetamines one or more times during their life was 4.2 percent in 2011, down from 9.9 percent in 2003. The percentage of students who had used marijuana one or more times during their life decreased from 42.5 percent in 2003 to 36.1 percent in 2011.
- The percent of students who were physically active for a total of at least 60 minutes per day on five or more of the seven days before the survey increased from 38.2 percent in 2005 to 50.8 percent in 2011. Students also spent less time watching television. In 2011, 29.9 percent of students reported watching television three or more hours a day, down from 36.7 percent in 2003.
- The percent of students who ate fruits two or more times per day during the seven days before the survey increased significantly from 22.1 percent in 2003 to 28.2 percent in 2011.
- Additionally, the percent of students who ate vegetables three or more times per day during the seven days before the survey increased significantly from 10.2 percent in 2003 to 14.1 percent in 2011.
Not all data results were positive. Negative findings included the following:
- In 2011, 16.7 percent of students were obese (i.e., at or above the 95th percentile for body mass index, by age and sex). This was a statistically significant increase from 11.0 percent in 2003.
- Regarding dietary behaviors, the percentage of students who ate a green salad one or more times during the seven days before the survey decreased from 66.4 percent in 2003 to 61.2 percent in 2011.
- Nearly 36 percent of students drank a can, bottle or glass of soda one or more times per day during the seven days before the survey.
- Twenty-seven percent of students played video or computer games or used a computer for something that was not school work three or more hours per day on an average school day. This was a statistically significant increase from 19.1 percent in 2007.
- Slightly more than 19 percent of students had carried a weapon such as a gun, knife, or club on one or more days during the 30 days before the survey.
- Nearly 11 percent of students had made a plan about how they would attempt suicide during the 12 months before the survey.
Data collected from the YRBS provides schools, communities and policymakers the opportunity to identify challenges, design interventions, develop new policies and implement programs that have the potential to positively impact adolescent health.
For information about the 2011 YRBS results, visit http://yrbs.health.ok.gov and click on “Oklahoma YRBS Data and Reports” to access six, topic-specific fact sheets. For additional information, contact Thad Burk at (405) 271-6761, or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org