Oklahoma Teens 2015 Health Behaviors Survey Released
For Release: August 31, 2016 – Corey Robertson, Office of Communications – 405-271-5601
A recent survey conducted among Oklahoma youth has shown a significant decrease in underage smoking and driving distracted, but has also revealed a rise in obesity and video game use.
The Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS), developed by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), is conducted every other year in public high schools throughout Oklahoma. It allows the Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH), other related agencies, and the general public to monitor priority health risk behaviors that can contribute to the leading causes of death, disability, and social problems. The survey also assesses whether those behaviors have changed over time.
When comparing the data from 2003 through 2015, trends can be seen in Oklahoma youth’s health. The percentage of students who were obese has increased significantly from 11 percent in 2003 to 17 percent in 2015. There has been a continual increase in the percentage of students who spent three or more hours per school day playing video games or on the computer, from 19 percent in 2007 to a staggering 46 percent in 2015.
The percentage of students who were bullied on school property was at 20 percent and electronically bullying was 14 percent in 2015. This may also be reflective of the student’s resiliency in regards to mental health. The percentage of students who felt so sad or hopeless almost every day for two weeks or more in a row has remained unchanged since 2003 at 29 percent. The percentage of students who had been forced into sexual acts has been consistent since 2013 at 9 percent.
Although Oklahoma continues to face some health challenges for teens that need to be focused on for improvement, the state has also seen great health improvements in other areas:
Oklahoma has and will continue to promote healthy behavior changes by using the YRBS to help keep track of the issues that need additional focus. The survey will also help acknowledge improvements and recognize efforts to better the health of local communities.