A survey of Fulton County youths from ages 12 to 18 shows promising signs in regard to health related issues.
Healthy Choices Caring Communities—the new name of the Partnership for a Drug-Free Fulton County—coordinated a health assessment last year through the use of funds from a Drug Free Communities Support Grant.
Healthy Choices Caring Communities works to decrease youth substance abuse through environmental changes in the county, such as a change such in community attitudes toward youth substance use.
Overall, the Fulton County rates of alcohol, tobacco and other drug usage remains low compared to state and national figures.
“These low rates are a testament to our dedicated families, invested schools and outstanding youth programming that stand by our youth,” said project director Lou Moody.
Highlights from the assessment include:
• an understanding of the need to increase fruit and vegetable portions every day;
• 23 percent of youths drank 100 percent fruit juice at least once a day in the week prior to the survey;
• 38 percent ate vegetables such as green salads, carrots and potatoes;
• Fulton County has seen dramatic decreases since 2005 when 42 percent of youths were smoking cigarettes. The number decreased to 24 percent in 2008 and 20 percent in 2010. This is well below state data of 51 percent and national data of 46 percent.
• In 2001, 58 percent of youths surveyed reported to have had one drink of alcohol in their lifetime. This decreased to 41 percent in 2008 and held at 40 percent in 2010.
• Only 40 percent of Fulton County youths always wore a seat belt when riding in a car driven by someone else, decreasing to 32 percent of those ages 14 to 16 years of age.
• Only 39 percent of youths thought that there was great risk in drinking alcohol and 56 percent thought there was great risk in smoking cigarettes.
The full 2010 Fulton County Youth Health Assessment will soon be available at www.fultoncountyhealthdept.com.
Healthy Choices Caring Communities is an initiative of the Fulton County Family & Children First Council. It is comprised of a group of community members working together to prevent and reduce youth use of alcohol and other drugs in Fulton County.
The name Healthy Choices Caring Communities reflects the attitudes and purposeful choices that must be made as a county invested in the health and well-being of our families and youths.
To become a member, or for more information, contact Lou Moody, Project Director, at 419/337-0915 or at HC3Partnership@gmail.com.