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Health-Risk Behaviors Among Teens: The Good News and the Bad — Physician’s First Watch

Medical News |
June 13, 2014

Health-Risk Behaviors Among Teens: The Good News and the Bad

By Cara Adler

Edited by André Sofair, MD, MPH, and William E. Chavey, MD, MS

Cigarette smoking among U.S. high school students has dropped to the lowest level in more than 20 years, according to an analysis of the 2013 national Youth Risk Behavior Survey published in MMWR.

Since 1991, when the biannual surveys began, there have been substantial reductions in the percentage of teens who smoke cigarettes (28% to 16%), drink alcohol (51% to 35%), and have been in a physical fight (43% to 25%), among other behaviors. Despite these improvements, marijuana use increased (15% to 23%).

In 2013, many teens texted or emailed while driving (41%), did not use a condom during sexual intercourse (41%), and never or rarely wore a helmet while riding a bicycle (88%).

Notably, nearly half of teens were trying to lose weight, and nearly half of cigarette smokers had tried to quit in the past year.

For the data-thirsty, the report provides more than 100 pages of tables, with data broken down by state, sex, race/ethnicity, and grade.

Reader Comments (3)

SHELDON BALL Physician, Geriatrics, Anvita Health

Among teens, declines in use of cigarettes (28% to 16%), use of alcohol (51% to 35%), and physical fights (43% to 25%. .. Despite these improvements, marijuana use increased (15% to 23%). - What do you mean despite or do you mean because? I don't see an analysis of a cause - effect relationship. Where is the objectivity?

eddy waworuntu Physician, Family Medicine/General Practice, retired

it is a good trend, we must guide them to do some social work,
directing them to help organosation working for peace and love
for nature, eddy waworuntu

Sheila Carr MD Physician, Family Medicine/General Practice, retired

interesting confirmation of what is is suspect if you have an open mind to observ what is happening arround

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