CDC: Small Percent of Youth Meet Physical Activity Goals

And, daily consumption of sugar-sweetened drinks high, particularly among black and male youth

THURSDAY, June 16 (HealthDay News) -- Only a small percentage of youth have met the objective for aerobic and muscle-strengthening activities outlined in the Healthy People 2020 (HP 2020) physical activity guidelines, and daily consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) is high, especially among male and black youth, according to two reports in the June 17 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

In one study, the CDC evaluated data from the 2010 National Youth Physical Activity and Nutrition Study (NYPANS), a school-based study conducted by the CDC that included height and weight measurements, and a survey that measured physical activity and dietary behaviors among a nationally representative sample of students in grades nine to 12 to determine the proportion of U.S. youths who meet the HP 2020 objectives. The data revealed that 15.3 percent of students met the aerobic objective, 51 percent met the muscle-strengthening objective, and 12.2 percent met the objective for both. The data also revealed that female students, students in upper grades, and students with obesity had lower rates of meeting the objective for aerobic and muscle-strengthening activities.

In another study, the CDC evaluated data from NYPANS to determine the extent to which U.S. adolescents consume different types of beverages and variations in consumption by sex and race/ethnicity. The data revealed that 24.3 percent of high school students drank a serving of regular soda, 16.1 percent drank a serving of a sports drink, and 16.9 percent drank a serving of another SSB one or more times per day during the seven days before the survey, though water, milk, and 100-percent fruit juice were the beverages consumed most commonly during that time period. The data also revealed that male students were more likely than female students to consume SSBs one or more times per day. In addition, black students were more likely than white students and Hispanic students to report drinking these beverages one or more times per day.

"Families, schools, and youth-oriented institutions should limit SSBs among all adolescents while ensuring their access to more healthful beverages. Targeted efforts are especially needed to reduce consumption of SSBs among male and black adolescents," write the authors of the second study.

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