June 20, 2014 4:54 pm

Survey reveals health of students in N.B.

Students in grades 6-12 across New Brunswick were surveyed about the risks they're taking with their health.

Kevin Godwin/Global News

FREDERICTON – The results of a massive survey commissioned by the provincial government reveals a picture of what the health of young people in New Brunswick looks like.

Over 35,000 students from grades six to 12 were asked about everything from physical activity to screen time and substance abuse.

The survey found 77 per cent of young people are spending more than two hours a day in front of a computer or television, which is up by two per cent.

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About 27 per cent have tried smoking, and 40 per cent don’t get the recommended one hour a day of physical activity. The province has spent close to $600,000 this past year on funding after-school programs and team sports, to try and get more young people active.

Sixty per cent of kids said they don’t regularly eat breakfast, or get enough fruits and vegetables in their diet.

Minister of Healthy and Inclusive Communities Dorothy Shepard said the province is targeting the survey in the school system.

“This data is able to be broken down regionally, so every district can look at it and decide where they need to put emphasis, what they need to put as their priorities and funneling those resources to target the results they want to get,” Shepard said.

While fewer students said they are being exposed to smoke at home, the age when kids first try a cigarette has dropped, to 12 years old.

“Students are telling students about the consequences of smoking and encouraging them not to. So we have students taking ownership of that responsibility,” she said.

READ MORE: New Brunswick Student Wellness Survey

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