Florida Public Health Review

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Background: Establishing proper physical activity and dietary behaviors during adolescence is crucial because these habits will carry on with the individual into adulthood. Proper physical activity and nutrition reduce the risk of illness and ailments.

Purpose: Identifying physical activity and dietary behaviors of adolescents in Duval County, FL, and the U.S. nationally. This study examines the differences between the Duval County and national samples using gender and grade comparisons.

Methods: The study utilized data from the 2019 Youth Behavior Risk Survey for high school students. Analysis was conducted for eight questions encompassing both physical activity and dietary behaviors to examine differences between samples, specifically based on gender and grade.

Results: The YRBS showed that as grades increased, physical activity for five or more days decreased. Ninth graders in Duval County: 72.7%, 12th graders in Duval County: 75.7%, 9th graders nationally: 50.9%, 12th graders nationally: 60.0%. Females are more likely to be overweight than males. Females in Duval County: 19.6%, Males in Duval County: 13.8%, Females nationally: 17.5%, Males nationally: 14.9%. As grade increased, the number of hours slept decreased. 9th graders in Duval County: 78.0%, 12th graders in Duval County: 87.2%, 9th graders nationally: 71.1%, 12th graders nationally: 83.0%.

Discussion: For Duval County and the National level, strategies must be implemented to increase the rates of physical activity and improve dietary behaviors of high school students as well as increase physical activity by females and fruit and vegetable consumption by males. However, these interventions are especially important for Duval County where levels of inactivity and fruit and vegetable consumption were lower than at the National level.

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