Chesterton Tribune

Survey: Indiana high school students consuming less alcohol

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Indiana high school students have made significant improvements in behaviors associated with alcohol consumption over the past eight years, the Indiana State Department of Health (IDOH) said last week.

That’s one of the findings of the 2011 National Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS) released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The survey focuses on students’ health risks and behaviors in six categories: alcohol and other drug use, injury and violence, nutrition, physical activity, sexual behavior, and tobacco use. The YRBS is part of a nationwide survey effort led by the CDC and is conducted every two years among a representative group of students in grades 9–12.

Results from the national survey show progress in behaviors related to alcohol use among Indiana high school students:

•Four out of five Indiana high school students did not participate in binge drinking during the 30 days before the 2011 survey, a 9-percent decrease from 2003.

•From 2003 to 2011, the number of Indiana students who had at least one drink of alcohol during the 30 days before the survey, declined from 45 to 33 percent.

•Students in Indiana were less likely than students across the U.S. to have drunk alcohol for the first time before age 13 years.

•Students in Indiana were less likely than students across the U.S. to have had at least one drink of alcohol on school property during the 30 days before the survey.

•Students in Indiana were less likely than students across the U.S. to have driven a car or other vehicle when drinking alcohol, declining from 12 percent in 2003 to 5 percent in 2011.

“It’s encouraging to see the improvement Indiana high school students have made in reducing alcohol-related health risk behaviors,” said State Health Commissioner Gregory Larkin. “However, childhood obesity remains a serious health risk for our young people. The survey demonstrates that we still need to make improvements in the areas of nutrition and physical activity.”

Despite the progress Indiana adolescents have made in behaviors associated with alcohol consumption, the results also show that students are still participating in detrimental behaviors:

•Eighty-five percent of Indiana high school students did not meet the recommended fruit and vegetable intake of five or more servings of fruits and vegetables per day.

•Indiana students were less likely to have met the recommended levels of physical activity than students across the U.S.

•Among Indiana high school students who had sexual intercourse during the 30 days before the survey, 39 percent of males and 45 percent of females did not use a condom during their last sexual intercourse.

•Students in Indiana were more likely than students across the U.S. to attempt suicide during the 12 months before the survey, increasing from 7 percent in 2003 to 11 percent in 2011. From 2003 to 2011, the number of Indiana students to attempt suicide one or more times during the 12 months before the survey, increased from 7 to 11 percent.

Health officials use the data to monitor progress towards achieving the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Healthy People 2020 objectives as well as to guide health programs.

 

Posted 6/25/2012