Pubdate: Thu, 29 May 2008
Source: Middletown Journal, The (OH)
Copyright: 2008 Middletown Journal 000
Contact:  or


COLUMBUS -- More Ohio teenagers are engaging in healthy behaviors today
compared to 1999 and 2003, according to the 2007 Ohio Youth Risk
Behavior Survey released Thursday, May 29.

They're still not consuming enough milk, fruit and vegetables, the
survey found, but a number of risky behaviors are on the decline,
including not using a seat belt, physical fighting in schools, suicide
attempts and alcohol, tobacco and illegal drug use.

"Ohio teenagers are on the right track," Ohio Department of Health
Director Alvin D. Jackson said in a news release. "While the overall
results are encouraging, we must continue our efforts to instill
healthy habits in our young people."

Several risky behaviors actually inched upward since 2005, including
drinking and driving, binge drinking and sniffing glue and other
chemicals. But ODH spokesman Kristopher Weiss cautioned that "you
can't make a trend analysis" with just two years of data.

ODH surveyed 2,527 students in 101 high schools in 2007. Key findings

.  90 percent of teens report they did not drink and drive in the past

.  78 percent report they did not smoke cigarettes in the past

.  68 percent report seeing a doctor for a checkup in the past

.  34 percent report using marijuana at least once during their

.  29 percent report binge drinking.

.  59 percent report spending at least one hour a month doing volunteer

"We've been saying for a long time, prevention is the key," Weiss
said. "Unhealthy behaviors in childhood tend to carry on to adulthood."

The 2007 survey follows similar ODH surveys conducted every two years
since 1993 under the direction of the Centers for Disease Control and

It measures behaviors that contribute to the leading causes of death,
disease and injury among youth. It focuses on 11 categories: youth
development, injury, violence, mental health, tobacco, alcohol,
illegal drugs and prescription drug abuse, sexual behaviors,
nutrition, physical activity and preventive health care.

To view the entire report, go to the ODH Web site at
- ---
MAP posted-by: Richard Lake