A new survey of the health behavior of Kentucky youth is showing some positive signs, especially regarding tobacco use.
There remain concerns related to physical activity, nutrition, and social and mental health.
Every two years the Centers for Disease Control calls upon states to randomly survey middle and high school students.
State School Health Consultant Stephanie Bunge says a drop of about 10 percent was seen in middle schoolers trying cigarettes and middle and high school students using vapor products. It’s a decline she labeled “unheard of.”
But, the percentage of students attempting suicide or hurting themselves didn’t change significantly over the two year period. Bunge says schools do offer mental health referrals.
“There are resources available and there are people in the schools that direct students to those resources, especially ones within the community,” noted Bunge.
In the category of nutrition, Bunge says there were declines in the percentage of high school students eating fruits and vegetables one or more times a day. About 4000 students participated in the Kentucky Youth Risk Behavior Survey this past spring.