Data and Research
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 2013 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)
- Here is a summary of results 2013 Utah Adolescent Health Report (PDF).
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 2016 Survey (PDF).
School District Health Burden
The Utah Department of Health is partnering with the Utah 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.
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
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, 2016 report Childhood Overweight in Utah, 2014 report (PDF) 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.
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. The EPICC Program produced the following reports with local and state level rates:
- Childhood Overweight in Utah County, 2012
- Childhood Overweight in Wasatch County, 2012
- Childhood Overweight in Weber School District, 2011
- Childhood Overweight in Ogden School District, 2014
- Childhood Overweight in Utah (State Wide), 2016
The Association Between School-Based Physical Activity, Including Physical Education, and Academic Performance