Some Minnesota teens healthier than those in 1990s

Published On: Dec 13 2012 06:32:41 AM CST   Updated On: Dec 13 2012 06:32:00 AM CST
smoking cigarette with ash
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) -

A new survey finds substantial declines in rates of sexual activity, smoking and binge drinking among Minnesota teenagers since the 1990s.

The Minnesota Health Department Wednesday released results from the Minnesota Student Survey offered every three years to sixth- , ninth- and 12th-graders.

State health commissioner Dr. Ed Ehlinger says while the survey results show many positive health trends, the results aren't quite as good for some racial and ethnic groups. He tells Minnesota Public Radio News that adolescents of color and American Indians still have some higher rates than white students.

For example, students of all races experienced significant declines in their smoking rates. But Ehlinger says the survey found that 22 percent of American Indian ninth-graders smoked in 2010 compared with 10 percent of white ninth-graders.