OKLAHOMA CITY -- Risky health behaviors in Oklahoma's youth are decreasing in some key areas, according to the Oklahoma State Department of Health announced Thursday.
The following information is from the 2009 Youth Risk Behavior Survey developed by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and conducted statewide in 2009.
Among the positive findings: a decline in students trying cigarette smoking and a decrease in methamphetamine and marijuana usage.
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.
About 1,400 high school students from 42 public schools answered the survey in 2009. The survey was also given in 2003, 2005 and 2007.
• The 2009 results indicate 48.8 percent of students had ever tried cigarette smoking, down from 64.1 percent in 2003. The percentage of students who smoked a whole cigarette before the age of 13 decreased significantly from 23.7 percent in 2003 to 11.5 percent in 2009. In addition, the percentage of students who smoked on a daily basis decreased from 17.5 percent in 2003 to 13.3 percent in 2009.
• Also promising was a decrease in methamphetamine and marijuana use. The percentage of students who used methamphetamines one or more times during their life was 4.8 percent in 2009, 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 31.9 percent in 2009.
• 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 47.4 percent in 2009. Students also spent less time watching television. In 2009, 29.0 percent of students reported watching television three or more hours a day, down from 36.7 percent in 2003.
Not all trends were positive. Negative findings included:
• Among students who had sexual intercourse during the three months before the survey, 56.7 percent reported using a condom during last sexual intercourse, which was a decrease from 64.3 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 56.6 percent in 2009.