Indiana To Focus On Youth Health In 2008

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State Health Commissioner Judy Monroe, M.D. today announced the Indiana State Department of Health will convene high-school aged young people in spring 2008 to focus on health issues facing Hoosier youth and involve them in a discussion on how to prevent unhealthy behaviors. She was joined by First Lady Cheri Daniels and Superintendent of Public Instruction Dr. Suellen Reed.

"Indiana is dedicated to protecting the health of its young people, who represent the future of this state," said Mrs. Daniels. "Adopting healthier behaviors early in life is essential. For example, eating well, getting regular exercise, and avoiding tobacco are important in preventing heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and other health problems later in life."

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According to the 2007 Youth Risk Behavior Survey, Indiana has seen some positive changes in the habits of young people in recent years, but other data show youth are engaging in behaviors that could result in injury or illness. The Youth Risk Behavior Survey monitors health risks and behaviors among Indiana youth in grades 9 through 12 in six categories: alcohol and other drug use, nutrition and weight, physical activity, sexual behavior, tobacco use, and violence and injuries. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) these health risks and behaviors are related to the leading causes of death and illness among both youth and adults.

Highlights from the 2007 YRBS data include:

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