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United States Adolescent Physical Health & Nutrition Facts

Overall health and presence of health conditions, ages 12-17, 2011-12 and 2016 PH1

Percent of adolescents ages 12-17 who parent described as being in excellent or very good health 2011-12 2016
Total N/A* 88%
Percent of adolescents ages 12-17 who had a health condition1 (according to parent) 2011-12 2016
No health conditions N/A* 53%
One health condition N/A* 22%
Two or more health conditions N/A* 25%

Asthma prevalence among high school students (grades 9-12), 2015 and 2017 PH2

Percent of high school students who report they had ever been told by a doctor or nurse that they had asthma 2015 2017
Total 23% 23%
Male 22% 22%
Female 23% 23%

Health insurance status, ages 12-17, 2011-12 and 2016 PH1

Percent of adolescents ages 12-17 who had health insurance at time of survey (according to parent) 2011-12 2016
Total N/A* 94%

Inadequate sleep among high school students (grades 9-12), 2015 and 2017 PH2

Percent of high school students who report they did not get 8 or more hours of sleep (on an average school night) 2015 2017
Total 73% 75%
Male 70% 74%
Female 76% 75%

Physical activity among high school students (grades 9-12), 2015 and 2017 PH2

Percent of high school students who report they were physically active2 at least 60 minutes per day on 5 or more days during the 7 days before survey 2015 2017
Total 49% 47%
Male 58% 57%
Female 39% 37%
Percent of high school students who report they attended physical education classes on 1 or more days in an average week (when they were in school) 2015 2017
Total 52% 52%
Male 55% 56%
Female 48% 48%
Percent of high school students who report they played on at least 1 sports team run by their school or community groups (during the 12 months before the survey) 2015 2017
Total 58% 54%
Male 62% 60%
Female 53% 49%
Percent of high school students who report they watched television 3 or more hours per day (on an average school day) 2015 2017
Total 25% 21%
Male 25% 21%
Female 24% 21%
Percent of high school students who report they played video or computer games or used a computer3 for 3 or more hours per day for something other than school work (on an average school day) 2015 2017
Total 42% 43%
Male 41% 43%
Female 43% 43%

Weight/obesity status among high school students (grades 9-12), 2015 and 2017 PH2

Percent of high school students who report they were obese4 2015 2017
Total 14% 15%
Male 17% 17%
Female 11% 12%
Percent of high school students who described themselves as slightly or very overweight 2015 2017
Total 32% 31%
Male 25% 25%
Female 38% 37%

Fruit, vegetable, and soda intake among high school students (grades 9-12), 2015 and 2017 PH2

Percent of high school students who report they ate fruit or drank 100% fruit juices 2 or more times per day (during the 7 days before the survey) 2015 2017
Total 31% 31%
Male 33% 34%
Female 30% 29%
Percent of high school students who report they ate vegetables 3 or more times per day (during the 7 days before the survey) 2015 2017
Total 15% 14%
Male 17% 16%
Female 13% 12%
Percent of high school students who report they drank a can, bottle, or glass of soda or pop 1 or more times per day (during the 7 days before the survey, not including diet soda or pop) 2015 2017
Total 20% 19%
Male 24% 22%
Female 16% 15%

Texting or emailing while driving among high school students (grades 9-12) who had driven a car or vehicle during the 30 days before the survey, 2015 and 2017 PH2

Percent of high school students who report they texted or e-mailed while driving a car or other vehicle (on at least 1 day during the 30 days before the survey) 2015 2017
Total 41% 39%
Male 42% 38%
Female 40% 40%

DATA NOTES

All percentages have been rounded to the nearest whole number.

N/A*
The 2016 National Survey of Children’s Health included changes to select items and to how the survey was administered; the Maternal and Child Health Bureau advises that it is not possible to compare estimates between 2011/12 and 2016 on this measure, so the earlier estimate has been omitted for this publication.
1
The 2016 National Survey of Children’s Health defines health conditions as including: allergies; anxiety problems; arthritis; asthma; Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) or Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD); Autism or Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD); behavioral or conduct problems; blood disorders; brain injury, concussion, or head injury; cerebral palsy; cystic fibrosis; depression; developmental delay; diabetes; Down syndrome; epilepsy or seizure disorder; genetic or inherited condition; hearing problems; heart condition; intellectual disability/mental retardation; frequent or severe headaches including migraine; learning disability; other mental health condition; speech or other language disorder; substance abuse disorder; Tourette Syndrome; and vision problems. For each condition, parent respondents were asked whether they have ever been told by a healthcare professional that the adolescent has the condition, and whether the adolescent currently has the condition.
2
The Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS) defines physical activity as: “doing any kind of physical activity that increased their heart rate and made them breathe hard some of the time.”
3
The YRBS defines video game or computer use as including “time spent on things such as Xbox, PlayStation, an iPad or other tablet, a smartphone, texting, YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, or other social media, for something that was not school work, on an average school day.”
4
The YRBS defines obesity as: “≥ 95th percentile for body mass index (BMI), based on sex- and age-specific reference data from the 2000 CDC Growth Charts.” BMI is calculated from students’ self-reported height and weight.

DATA SOURCES

PH1
Overall health status, health condition, and health insurance data are from: The Data Resource Center for Child and Adolescent Health. (2018). National Survey of Children's Health, 2016 [Data set]. Retrieved from http://www.childhealthdata.org/browse/survey
PH2
High school data are from: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2018). 1991-2017 High School Youth Risk Behavior Survey [Data set]. Retrieved from http://nccd.cdc.gov/YouthOnline/App/Default.aspx

 

Content created by Office of Adolescent Health
Content last reviewed on January 25, 2017