2005 News Release




October 18, 2005

Contact: Jennifer Dunlap, 317-233-7090


INDIANAPOLIS---State Health Commissioner Judith A. Monroe, M.D. today announced the release of data from the 2005 Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS). This is the first time ever that Indiana has had trend data from the YRBS.

"Knowledge is power, and the YRBS data gives us the information we need to move forward in the fight to make our young people, and Indiana, healthier," Dr. Monroe said.

The Youth Risk Behavior Survey monitors health risks and behaviors among Indiana youth in grades 9 through 12 in six categories: nutrition and weight, physical activity, tobacco use, alcohol and other drug use, violence and injury, and sexual behavior. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), these health risks and behaviors are related to the leading causes of death and illness among both youth and adults.

Highlights from the new YRBS trend data include:

  • The percentage of Hoosier teens who are overweight increased from 11.5 percent in 2003 to 15 percent in 2005;
  • The percentage of Indiana youth who ate five or more servings of fruits and vegetables per day during the past seven days fell to 15.5 percent in 2005 (from 20.3 percent in 2003);
  • The percentage of teens who reported drinking three or more glasses of milk per day over the past seven days dropped to 16.2 percent in 2005 (from 21.1 percent in 2003); and
  • 34.1 percent of Indiana youth didn't get enough physical activity each week.

“The YRBS results clearly indicate that we need to help our young people make healthier choices,” Dr. Monroe said. “Our call to action begins with INShape Indiana. The Governor’s health initiative focuses on improving nutrition and physical activity and encourages adults to quit smoking and young people not to start.”

As a first step in addressing the problem of Hoosiers being overweight and obese, INShape Indiana is hosting a health Summit, "Obesity Prevention: A Commitment to Act" on October 27 at the University Place Conference Center on the Indiana University Purdue University campus in Indianapolis. It is the first in a series of health summits to be hosted by INShape Indiana.

According to state health officials, some other significant findings among Indiana high schools students found in the 2005 Indiana Youth Risk Behavior Survey include the following:

  • 21.9 percent had smoked cigarettes in the past 30 days;
  • 41.4 percent reported having drunk alcohol during the past 30 days;
  • 18.9 percent had used marijuana in the past 30 days;
  • 9.6 percent had attempted suicide in the past 12 months;
  • 92.3 percent rarely or never wore bicycle helmets;
  • 44.5 percent had ever had sexual intercourse; and
  • 22.2 percent said they had been told by a doctor or nurse that they had asthma.

“Based on the findings of the YRBS, we can see that now is the time for each of us to step up to the plate and make a difference in the lives of Indiana’s youth,” said Audrey Satterblom, Governor’s Council for Physical Fitness and Sports. “Teens need us to lead by example and to empower them to make healthy decisions. The health of our state depends on it.”

In the spring of 2005, the Indiana State Department of Health administered the Youth Risk Behavior Survey in high schools across the state. Fifty-three high schools and 1,528 students participated. The Youth Risk Behavior Survey is a national survey effort led by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to monitor students’ health risks and behaviors.

This is the second year that weighted data has been available for Indiana, which means that the response rates for the survey were high enough to allow the data collected to be generalized for all Indiana high school students. Weighted data was available for the first time in 2003, allowing the state to have trend data this year.

“The YRBS allows us to better monitor our adolescent health programs, as well as track our progress in achieving Healthy People 2010 objectives,” said Tanya Parrish, Coordinated School Health Program, Indiana State Department of Health. “Indiana schools, local health departments, and other youth-serving organizations can also use this data to show the need for services when applying for grants.”

Healthy People 2010 is a set of health objectives identified by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for the nation to achieve over the first decade of the new century. Examples of these objectives include reducing cigarette use and violence and increasing the percentage of adolescents who participate in daily school physical education classes. Results from the 2005 Indiana Youth Risk Behavior Survey can be viewed on the Indiana State Department of Health’s Web site at .

State of Indiana Department of Health
2 N Meridian St.
Indianapolis, IN 46204
317. 233.1325