NYPANS: Summary of Key Findings
The 2010 National Youth Physical Activity and Nutrition Study (NYPANS) was a school-based study conducted by CDC that included a survey on physical activity, dietary behaviors, and height and weight measurements among a nationally representative sample of students in grades 9–12. Findings from this study, published in separate articles in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, underscore the need for youth to increase levels of physical activity and reduce consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages—two major strategies that can help reduce childhood obesity in the United States.
Physical Activity Levels of High School Students—United States, 2010
Analysis of the NYPANS results on physical activity levels shows that students in grades 9–12 nationwide are not getting enough daily physical activity. According to federal guidelines for physical activity, U.S. youth aged 6 to 17 years need 1 hour of physical activity each day and muscle strengthening activity (e.g., sit ups, push ups, and resistance exercises) at least 3 days a week. To meet the Healthy People 2020 national health objectives (see Healthy People 2020; Objective 3.1–3.3), collaborative efforts among CDC, state and local public health agencies, schools, and other public health partners that promote physical activity are needed.
Among U.S. high school students in 2010—
- Approximately 1 in 10 (12.2%) met the Healthy People 2020 objective for both aerobic and muscle strengthening activities.
- Only 15.3% met the objective for daily aerobic activity.
- 51.0% met the objective for muscle strengthening activity.
- Fewer female students (5.8%) than male students (18.5%) met the objective for both aerobic and muscle strengthening activities.
- Fewer 12th–grade (10.3%) students than 11th–grade (10.7%), 10th–grade (12.3%), and 9th–grade (15.0%) students met the objective for both aerobic and muscle strengthening activities.
- Fewer obese (7.3%) students than overweight (13.6%) and under/normal weight (13.3%) students met the objective for both aerobic and muscle strengthening activities.
Beverage Consumption Among High School Students—United States, 2010
Analysis of the NYPANS results shows that although water, milk, and 100% fruit juice were the beverages most commonly consumed by high school students during the 7 days before the survey, daily consumption of regular soda or pop, sports drinks, and other sugar-sweetened beverages also is prevalent in this population—especially among male students and black students.
Sugar-sweetened beverages are the largest source of added sugars in the diets of U.S. youth.1 Consuming these beverages increases calorie intake—a factor potentially contributing to obesity among youth nationwide.2 Decreasing the number of sugar-sweetened beverages consumed by high school students can improve their diet and help reduce their risk of obesity. Healthy options, such as water, low-fat or fat-free milk, or limited amounts of 100% fruit juices, should be available at home, school, and other youth-serving institutions.
Among U.S. high school students in 2010, during the 7 days before the survey—
- Nearly one fourth (24.3%) drank a can, bottle, or glass of regular soda or pop daily.
- 16.1% drank a can, bottle, or glass of a sports drink daily.
- 16.9% drank a can, bottle, or glass of another sugar-sweetened beverage daily (e.g., lemonade, sweetened tea or coffee drinks, flavored milk, Snapple, or Sunny Delight, but not including soda or pop, sports drinks, energy drinks, or 100% fruit juice).
- Nearly two thirds (62.8%) drank any combination of regular soda or pop, sports drinks, and other sugar-sweetened beverages one or more times per day.
- Almost one third (32.9%) drank any combination of these beverages two or more times per day.
- Male students were more likely than female students and black students were more likely than both white and Hispanic students to drink regular soda or pop, sports drinks, and other sugar-sweetened beverages daily.
- Reedy J, Krebs-Smith SM. Dietary sources of energy, solid fats, and added sugars among children and adolescents in the United States. Journal of the American Dietetic Association 2010;110(10):1477–1484.
- Berkey CS, Rockett HRH, Field AE, Gillman MW, Colditz GA. Sugar-added beverages and adolescent weight change. Obesity Research 2004;12:778–788.
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