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A cross-sectional examination of modifiable risk factors for chronic disease among a nationally representative sample of youth: are Canadian students graduating high school with a failing grade for health?

11 Jun 2013

Background:
Substance use and weight-gain among youth increase the risk for future disease.Purpose: To examine how many Canadian youth are currently failing to meet substance use and weight gain related public health guidelines.
Methods:
Data from the 2010--11 Youth Smoking Survey were used to examine grade 9 to 12 students meeting seven different guidelines by sex and by grade.
Results:
Among Canadian youth, 8.8% were current smokers, 18.8% were current marijuana users, 25.5% were current binge drinkers, 22.5% were considered overweight or obese, 31.2% did not meet physical activity guidelines, 89.4% exceeded sedentary behaviour guidelines, and 93.6% reported inadequate fruit and vegetable intake. The mean number of risk factors per student was 2.9 (+/-1.2); only 0.5% of youth reported having none of the risk factors.
Conclusion:
Students rarely met all seven public health guideline examined, and the vast majority of actually reported having two or more modifiable risk factors for disease.

Date: 
11 June 2013

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