MMWR News Synopsis for January 4, 2018

Sexual Intercourse Among High School Students — 29 States and United States Overall, 2005–2015

CDC Media Relations
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Nationwide, the proportion of high school students who ever had sexual intercourse has decreased, particularly among students in earlier grades and black and Hispanic students. More work is needed to understand the causes of these decreases and to ensure they continue. A new analysis of data from CDC’s National Youth Risk Behavior Survey found that the proportion of high school students (grades 9-12) who ever had sexual intercourse decreased from 47 percent in 2005 to 41 percent in 2015. CDC researchers assessed whether changes have occurred in recent years overall and by grade, race/ethnicity, and sex. The overall decrease was driven by declines among 9th and 10th graders, with no changes seen among 11th and 12th graders. Additionally, the proportion of black and Hispanic high school students ever having sexual intercourse declined during 2005–2015. These decreases represent positive changes among adolescents who have been shown in previous studies to be at higher risk for negative health outcomes associated with early sexual initiation. These negative health outcomes include greater numbers of sex partners, condom non-use, teen pregnancy, and sexually transmitted infections.

Health Care Provider Counseling for Physical Activity or Exercise Among Adults with Arthritis — United States, 2002 and 2014

CDC Media Relations
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Exercise can reduce joint pain, and health-care-provider counseling can increase exercise among adults with arthritis. While health-care-provider counseling for exercise among adults with arthritis has increased about 18 percent since 2002, 2 in 5 adults with arthritis are still not receiving such counseling. Health-care-provider training and electronic-medical-record prompts may be ways to increase this simple and effective counseling. Prevalence of health care provider counseling for exercise among adults with arthritis rose from 51.9 percent in 2002 to 61.0 percent in 2014. This is a 17.6 percent increase since 2002, but 2 in 5 adults with arthritis still do not receive such counseling. Improving health-care-provider training and expertise in simple exercise counseling and incorporating prompts into electronic medical records are potential strategies to increase health care provider counseling for exercise and help adults manage their arthritis and related conditions.

Prevalence and Trends in Prepregnancy Normal Weight — United States, 2011–2015

CDC Media Relations
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New data indicate more women are overweight or obese before pregnancy, which may have important implications for health outcomes for both mother and baby. A new CDC analysis suggests that more women are overweight or obese before pregnancy. In 2015, 45 percent of women were at a healthy prepregnancy weight (that is, having a body mass index (BMI) of 18.5-24.9) – a decline of 5 percent from 2011. The percentage of women who were overweight (BMI 25.0–29.9) and obese (BMI greater than 30.0) increased by 2 percent and 8 percent, respectively, during 2011-2015. Prepregnancy weight can influence health outcomes. Being underweight before pregnancy increases the risk for a smaller-than-average baby at birth. Being overweight or obese increases the risk for a C-section delivery, a larger-than-average baby at birth, and childhood obesity. Weight-related screening, counseling, and referral for treatment are critical parts of prepregnancy healthcare and may help ensure healthy outcomes for women and any children they may have.

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Page last reviewed: January 4, 2018