Wednesday, November 19, 2008

15.6% Of Hawaii's Public High School Students Obese - 5,600 Students Attempted Suicide Within Past Year

“The latest Department of Health (DOH) data report on youth shows that an estimated 7,300 of Hawai'i's public high school students are obese (15.6%). Additionally, an estimated 5,600 students reported attempting suicide within the past year, a statistic that shows Hawai'i's youth are at greater risk than the national average. However, the findings of the Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS) showed Hawai'i youth's decline in risky health behaviors, such as tobacco, alcohol and other drug use. ‘While the survey shows Hawai'i's youth are doing well overall, we are concerned as public health professionals about some key findings, particularly, poor nutrition, obesity and youth suicide,’ stated Director of Health Chiyome Fukino, M.D. ‘These results show us that we need to continue to stress primary prevention in the community and classrooms.’ Overall Hawai'i's high school students report drinking less milk, eating fewer fruits and vegetables, and being less physically active than students in the U.S. mainland. (See attached Table 1.) Data from the YRBS illustrates the need for the continued implementation of policies and programs that promote good nutrition and physical activity.”

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