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Healthy People 2010 - with Annotations

7-3. Increase the proportion of college and university students who receive information from their institution on each of the six priority health-risk behavior areas.

25 percent.

Baseline: 6 percent of undergraduate students received information from their college or university on all six topics in 1995: injuries (intentional and unintentional), tobacco use, alcohol and illicit drug use, sexual behaviors that cause unintended pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases, dietary patterns that cause disease, and inadequate physical activity.

Target setting method: Better than the best.

Data source: National College Health Risk Behavior Survey, CDC, NCCDPHP.

Undergraduates, 1995 Received Information
on Six Priority
Health-Risk Behavior Areas
Race and ethnicity  
American Indian or Alaska Native DSU
Asian or Pacific Islander DSU
Asian DSU
Native Hawaiian - Pacific Islander DSU
Black or African American 8
White 6
Female 6
Male 6
Family income level  
Poor DNC
Near poor DNC
Middle/high income DNC
Disability status  
Persons with disabilities DNC
Persons without disabilities DNC
Select populations  
Sexual orientation DNC

DNA = Data have not been analyzed. DNC = Data are not collected. DSU = Data are statistically unreliable.

The School Health Education Study (28) conducted during the 1960s identified 10 conceptual areas that have traditionally served as the basis of health education curricula. Subsequently, six categories of behaviors have been identified as responsible for more than 70 percent of illness, disability, and death among adolescents and young adults. These categories, which should be the primary focus of school health education, are injuries (unintentional and intentional); tobacco use; alcohol and illicit drug use; sexual behaviors that cause unintended pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases; dietary patterns that cause disease; and inadequate physical activity.(29) While unintentional and intentional injuries are grouped together, the prevention program and policy implications for each are distinct, given the differences in the risk behaviors and related health outcomes. In addition to the 6 behavior categories, environmental health (recognized influence on personal and community health), mental and emotional health, personal health, and consumer health are among the 10 conceptual areas being added to track the influence of these factors over the next 10 years.

The overall goal of the National Health Education Standards (30) for youth is to achieve health literacy—the capacity to obtain, interpret, and understand basic health information and services and the competence to use such information and services to enhance health. Research has shown that for health education curricula to affect priority health-risk behaviors among adolescents, effective strategies, considerable instructional time, and well-prepared teachers are required. To attain this objective, States and school districts need to support effective health education with appropriate policies, teacher training, effective curricula, and regular progress assessment. In addition, the support of families, peers, and the community at large is critical to long-term behavior change among adolescents. Text about the contributions comprehensive school health education can make in achieving objectives can be found in the appropriate priority area chapters.

Health education and health promotion activities also can be conducted in postsecondary settings and reach the Nation’s future leaders, teachers, corporate executives, health professionals, and public health personnel. Personal involvement in a health promotion program can educate future leaders about the importance of health and engender a commitment to prevention.

In 1995, 23 percent of undergraduate students reported receiving information on unintentional injuries, 38 percent on intentional injuries, 49 percent on alcohol and other drug use, 55 percent on unintended pregnancy, HIV/AIDS, and STD infection; 30 percent on unhealthy dietary patterns; and 36 percent on inadequate physical activity.(31)

Read Overview of Injuries

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Last modified: 10-Mar-2000.