Data and Research

Adolescent Health 

The Utah Department of Health has released a report showing, for the first time, adolescent health at the local level.  Findings from the report indicate that health problems vary widely within Utah. The data come from the Prevention Needs Assessment (PNA) survey, a random sample of students in grades 8, 10, and 12 in the spring of 2017 on substance abuse, tobacco use, asthma, diabetes, healthy weight, physical activity, nutrition, tanning, violence, and injury. Topics in the report include: lifestyles (computer screen time, physical activity, youth obesity, family meals, tanning, tobacco use); chronic conditions (asthma, diabetes); violence and injuries (motor vehicle safety, prescription drug abuse, bullying); and mental health (feeling sad or hopeless, psychological distress, suicide)

School Health Profiles

School Health Profiles (Profiles) is a survey of school health policies and practices in states. Profiles is conducted every 2 years by the Utah Department of Health. Profiles monitors the status of:

  • School health education requirements
  • Physical education and physical activity
  • Asthma and other chronic disease management activities
  • Family and community involvement in school health programs and activities
  • Policies to protect students from unintentional injury

Here is a summary of results from the 2018 Survey (PDF).

School District Health Burden

The Utah Department of Health is partnering with the Utah State Board of Education on a federal grant application to improve the health of students throughout Utah. Data from both agencies, including the annual School Nurse Workload Census, were used to identify the school districts (also called Local Education Agencies) with the highest burden level. The burden level was determined by giving a score to each district according to how it ranked on 17 measures, including obesity and chronic disease rates, the percentage of students who were economically disadvantaged, and the percentage of students with a chronic health condition. Scores ranged from a low of seven to a high of twenty-six. Higher scores indicate greater burden.

School Districts by Health Burden

Youth Risk Behavior Survey

The Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS) is a survey of adolescents conducted in every state every 2 years. YRBS monitors health-risk behaviors including:

  • Behaviors that contribute to unintentional injuries and violence
  • Alcohol and other drug use
  • Tobacco use
  • Unhealthy dietary behaviors
  • Inadequate physical activity

Here is a summary of results from the 2011 Survey (PDF), 2013 Survey (PDF) and 2017 Survey (PDF).

Elementary School Height and Weight Measurement Project

The EPICC Program partners with school nurses, school districts, and local health departments to conduct a bi-annual height and weight measurement project. This project enables UDOH to track the prevalence of overweight and obesity among elementary school students statewide. In 2014, 20.9% of students were at an unhealthy weight. The rate did not change between 2006 and 2014. Access the Childhood Overweight in Utah, 2018 report to learn more about the project, rates of overweight by grade and sex, the effects of childhood overweight and obesity, and strategies to prevent childhood obesity.

Archived Childhood Overweight Reports

Local Childhood Obesity Rates

From 2011 - 2014, school nurses and local health department staff in Utah County, Wasatch County, Weber County, and in 2016 state wide, collected height and weight data for elementary school students to determine the rates of overweight and obesity in their respective districts. In 2018, Davis County colllected height and weight data for elementary school students. The EPICC Program produced the following reports with local and state level rates:


Book cover: The Association Between School-Based Physical Activity, Including Physical Education, and Academic Performance

The Association Between School-Based Physical Activity, Including Physical Education, and Academic Performance
This is a literature review that examines the exisiting research on the relationship between school-based physical activity, including physical education, and academic performance.