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University of Minnesota releases first ever comprehensive report of the health of college students
Date:11/15/2007

A report released by the University of Minnesota Boynton Health Service today is the first of its kind in the nation to conduct a comprehensive survey on the health of college students. About 10,000 college students completed the survey. Although the study is focused on students from 14 campuses in Minnesota, the health findings here reflect national health trends for college students, says Dr. Ed Ehlinger, the director and chief health officer of the universitys Boynton Health Service.

The report examines everything from mental health and obesity to financial health and sexual health. It also looks at alcohol use, smoking, personal safety, physical activity and how many students do not have health insurance. One key finding is beginning to show how todays technology is impacting students health and their academics. In fact, 28.7 percent of students surveyed report excessive computer/Internet/TV use and 41.8 percent indicate the activity affected their academic performance.

Ehlinger said members of the public, higher education leaders and policymakers should pay attention to the findings and make the health of college students a priority.

The health of college students is important not only to the institutions they attend but also to the health of the state of Minnesota. Good health helps students remain in school, and a college degree or certificate is an excellent predictor of better health and economic status throughout ones lifetime, Ehlinger said.

Education is one of the strongest influences on economic and health status, Ehlinger said. College students are a large and growing population and are establishing lifestyles and behavior patterns, they are the trendsetters and the role models for younger people and they are the future leaders of our society. That is why we need to make them a priority, Ehlinger said.

There is a shortage of information about these students particularly in areas that go beyond alcoh
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Contact: Patty Mattern
matte016@umn.edu
612-624-2801
University of Minnesota
Source:Eurekalert

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