Good Health Habits Mean Better Grades
A report issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirms the connection between healthy habits and academic performance in teens. According to the report, published in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR), high school students with lower grades report more risky health behaviors, including substance use, violence, poor nutrition, lack of exercise, and sexual activity, and fewer healthy behaviors than teens who get better grades.
Students who get low grades (mostly Ds and Fs) are nine times more likely than those receiving mostly As to have injected illegal drugs. They also are five times more likely to have missed school in the previous month due to safety concerns, and four times more likely to have had four or more sexual partners. Students earning mostly As are twice as likely to eat a healthy breakfast every day and 1.5 times more likely to exercise at least 60 minutes five or more days in the past week than those receiving mostly Ds and Fs.
This analysis uses 2015 data from the Youth Risk Behavior Survey conducted by the CDC, which examined nearly 30 health behaviors. This data can be used at federal, state, and local levels to develop effective programs that reach approximately 23 million high school students in the United States and help them avoid risky health behaviors.