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US Teens turn Wiser to Risky Behavior

A new US government report has found that risky health behaviors which includes tobacco and alcohol use, sexual activity, and rash motor vehicle driving are declining among the American youth //.

Encouraging as this news is, this downward trend needs to be steeper and the disparities between racial and ethnic groups need to be reduced further.

As director of the division of adolescent and school health at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Howell Wechsler, says, ‘We're delighted that we're seeing some progress, but the reality is that risk-behavior levels are just way too high.’ ‘We want to celebrate that most of the risk behaviors are going in right direction, but they're not going down fast enough so we have a lot more work to do.’

These were the findings of the Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance - United States, 2005, released by the CDC.

The CDC has been conducting such surveys every two years since 1991. The results of the afore mentioned survey was conducted with the help of data collected during spring of 2005 from some 14,000 students in both public and private high schools in several parts of the country. The report includes national data as well as data from surveys conducted in 40 states and 21 large urban school districts.

According to Wechsler the number of high school students that engage in risky health behavior such tobacco and alcohol use, sexual activity, and rash motor vehicle driving.

There has been a dramatic increase in seatbelt use. The percentage of teens who claimed they did not use seatbelts have reduced from 26 percent in 1991 to 18 percent in 2003 to only a 10 percent in 2005.

Alcohol use has also reduced from 51 percent in 1991 to 43 percent in 2005.

Reported first time sexual intercourse has reduced from 54 percent in 1991 to 47 percent in 2005. Compared to the 46 percent in 1991 who used a condom during the last sexual intercourse, the perc
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