Fewer U.S. teenagers are smoking, having sex, and doing drugs these days—and they’re drinking less milk.
Less than one-third of high school students drink a glass of milk a day, according to a large government survey released last week. About two decades ago, it was nearly half.
Last year’s survey asked about 100 questions on a wide range of health topics. Researchers compared the results with similar questionnaires going back more than 25 years.
One trend that stood out was the drop in drinking milk. In recent decades, teenagers have shifted from milk to soda, then to sports drinks, and recently to energy drinks. The survey showed slightly fewer are drinking soda and sports drinks now, compared with the last survey in 2015. Most students were not asked about energy drinks.
Barry Popkin, a University of North Carolina researcher who studies how diets change, said the shifts in beverage consumption are likely contributing to the nation’s obesity problem.
A version of this article appeared in the June 20, 2018 edition of Education Week as Drug Use, Smoking, Sexual Activity— And Milk—Down Among Teenagers