Youth health assessment results released soon

Early results show obesity, alcohol use down

Fulton County Partners for Health and Healthy Choices Caring Communities (HC3) have announced the upcoming release of the 2021 Fulton County Youth Health Assessment.

The public release of the youth health assessment will occur on Tuesday, Feb. 22, in a virtual event with youth professionals, schools, law enforcement, religious leaders, parents, health care professionals, substance treatment professionals, area businesses and county officials in attendance. Community members and stakeholders interested in attending this event, should email Beth at [email protected] in order to register for the Zoom link.

A series of social media posts have been created to gather input from our community. Those interested can watch HC3: Healthy Choices Caring Communities and Fulton County Health Department’s Facebook and Twitter pages to review the data highlights and provide reactions and share experiences in working with young people in the community.

The 2021 youth assessment is the result of a lot of hard work and effort by the Fulton County Partners for Health and county coalition, Healthy Choices Caring Communities.

“Our community has a long history of strong community partnerships and established collaboration in our county. We are very fortunate to have such a willingness for the community to “come to the table” to address issues involving youth,” said Beth Thomas, HC3 Program Director.

Healthy Choices Caring Communities works to decrease youth substance abuse through the use of environmental strategies such as community attitudes toward youth substance use, access to substances, media messages and policies enhancements regarding alcohol, tobacco and other substances.

For those who work to decrease substance abuse and increase healthy choices among youth and families in Fulton County, it is important to measure how they are doing. The 2021 Fulton County Youth Health Assessment provides us this opportunity. Through the funding of Fulton County Partners for Health, HC 3 can obtain health-related data for Fulton Count youth, ages 12-18 years of age.

Overall, the Fulton County rates of alcohol, tobacco and other drug usage remain low compared to state and national figures and have decreased significantly over the past 10 – 12 years.

According to Kim Cupp, Fulton County Health Commissioner, “These low rates are a testament to our dedicated families, engaged schools, outstanding youth programming that stand by our youth and the commitment and investment our community has made through our school and community based programs such as Signs of Suicide, Baby Think It Over/Love Notes, BOSS (Beyond Our Selves and School), RoX and YAC (Youth Advisory Council).”

2021 Fulton County Youth Health Assessment highlights:

· 22% of parents provided alcohol to youth in 2021 (a 31% decrease from 2012)

· 93% of Fulton County youth (6th – 12th graders) are not current drinkers (this is a 19% increase over 2018 data)

· Of all Fulton County youth, 7% had drank alcohol for the first time before the age of 13 (this is a 46% decrease over the 2018 data)

· Nearly one-fifth (18%) of Fulton County youth were obese, according to Body Mass Index (BMI) by age (this is a 5% decrease over the 2018 data)

· Ten percent of youth reported they had seriously considered attempting suicide in the past 12 months. (this is a 33% decrease over the 2018 data)

The full 2021 Fulton County Youth Health Assessment will be available electronically at or following the public release event on Tuesday. In addition, interested community members can obtain a paper copy of the assessment, during regular business hours, at the Fulton County Health Department.

Early results show obesity, alcohol use down