Results of the Seattle Public Schools' Youth Health Survey



Seattle Public School middle and high school students are eating fewer fruits and vegetables but also engaging in less sexual activity, according to a recent state survey.

Those are just a few notable findings of the state-funded Healthy Youth Survey. It is taken every two years by students in grades 6, 8, 10 and 12 and covers health risk behaviors such as gangs, suicide, sex, bullying and drug, alcohol and tobacco use.

The school district released the results of the survey Thursday. The survey, conducted in October, was voluntary and anonymous. A few highlights:

  • 26 percent of seniors reported recently riding in a vehicle driven by someone who had been using marijuana, and over half of 12th graders reported recently riding in a vehicle driven by someone who was texting/emailing.

  • Electronic smoking device use among middle and high school students rose dramatically. 15 percent of sophomores report using an e-cigarette or vape pen in the past 30 days, compared to 4 percent in 2012.

  • Rates of sexual intercourse have dropped annually since 2010. In 2014, six percent of eighth grade students report they had sexual intercourse, a 16 percent decrease since 2010. 

  • Fruit and vegetable consumption decreased significantly at all grade levels surveyed.  Eighth grade rates of eating fruits or vegetables five or more times per day, fell from 32 percent in 2012 to 26 percent in 2014, while high school rates had similar 6-7 percent reductions.

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