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Survey of US Teens Shows Big Change in Milk Drinkers

Less than a third drink a glass a day, down from about half 25 years ago
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jun 14, 2018 2:05 PM CDT
Teens are pouring fewer of these nowadays.   (AP Photo/Rob Carr)

(Newser) – Fewer US teens are smoking, having sex, and doing drugs these days. Oh, and they're drinking less milk, too. Less than one-third of high school students drink a glass of milk a day, according to a large government survey released Thursday. About two decades ago, it was nearly half. Last year's survey asked about 100 questions on a wide range of health topics, including smoking, drugs, and diet. Researchers compared the results to similar questionnaires going back more than 25 years. One trend that stood out was the drop in drinking milk, which started falling for all Americans after World War II, per the AP. In recent decades, teens have shifted from milk to soda, then to Gatorade and other sports drinks, and recently to energy drinks like Monster and Red Bull.

Some of the findings:

  • Not as many teens are having sex, although there wasn't much change from the 2015 survey results. Last year, about 40% said they'd ever had sex, down from 48% a decade ago.
  • There was no substantial recent change for cigarette smoking, either. About 9% are current smokers, down from more than 27% when the survey started in 1991. Ditto alcohol, with 30% saying they currently use alcohol, down from 51% in 1991.
  • Marijuana use seems to hovering, with about 36% of students saying they had ever tried it. But overall, illegal drug use seems to be falling, including for synthetic marijuana, ecstasy, heroin, inhalants, and LSD and other hallucinogenic drugs. For the first time, the survey asked if they had ever abused prescription opioid medications. About 14% did.
(Read more milk stories.)

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