• Obesity tops list of concerns about kids’ health

    Obesity tops list of concerns about kids’ health

    Almost 40% of adults (and not just parents) across the United States rate obesity as their number 1 health concern for today’s children, according to the 7th annual National Poll on Children’s Health conducted by the University of Michigan C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital.

    Coming in at number 2 was drug abuse (34%), followed by smoking/tobacco use (32%), bullying (29%), stress (25%), alcohol abuse (24%), child abuse and neglect (23%), teenaged pregnancy (23%), Internet safety (21%), and, rounding out the top 10, depression (20%).

    Other concerns making the top 25 were sexually transmitted infections, including human immunodeficiency virus/acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (21%); school violence (19%); insufficient physical activity (18%); unsafe neighborhoods (17%); motor vehicle accidents (17%); attention-deficit disorder/attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (16%); gun-related injuries (16%); hunger (12%); suicide (12%); racial inequality (12%); autism (9%), safety of medications (7%); food allergies (7%); safety of vaccines (6%); and lead poisoning (3%).

    As in past years, the poll found that different races and ethnicities were most concerned about different things. White adults were most concerned with childhood obesity, followed by drug abuse and smoking/tobacco use. Hispanic adults were also most concerned with childhood obesity, but then they worry about bullying and drug abuse. Black adults were most concerned with smoking/tobacco use, followed by drug abuse and school violence.

    The survey researchers believe the high level of concern surrounding childhood obesity may be a key to sustaining national efforts to contain the childhood obesity epidemic. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, obesity rates among our nation’s children have decreased slightly. From 2003 through 2010, the prevalence of childhood obesity decreased from 15.21% to 14.94%, and the prevalence of extreme obesity among our kids decreased from 2.22% to 2.07%.

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