Survey: Hawaii high schoolers making healthier choices

Survey: Hawaii high schoolers making healthier choices

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - It's easy to criticize young people, but a new survey of Hawaii high schoolers shows they're due some praise.

The Youth Risk Behavior Survey, released Thursday, found that Hawaii's young people are making healthier choices.

Some highlights:

  • Only 13 percent of high school students said they drank soda once a day, down from 23 percent in 2007.
  • Alcohol use is down, with 1 in 4 students reporting they drank alcohol in the 30 days before taking the survey.
  • 90 percent of high schoolers said they don’t smoke, though many have tried electronic cigarettes.
  • Fewer students are fighting at school, with 15 percent of high schoolers reporting they were involved in a fight during the previous 12 months.

But it's not all good news.

The report found that high school students – like most of us – don't get enough exercise. And bullying rates remained steady, with 1 in 5 high schoolers reporting they had been bullied in the previous year.

Also, nearly 30 percent of high school students reported feeling sad or hopeless almost every day for two or more weeks in a row.

About 11 percent of students said they had attempted suicide, down slightly from previous years.

State schools Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi said the figures show that efforts to bolster healthy practices among young people are making a difference.

"The downward trend of students engaging in risky behaviors and an increase in healthy choices is testament to the work done by our schools and the commitment of our students to strive higher," she said, in a news release.

More than 12,000 public school students participated in the annual survey.

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