A new report by the University of Michigan’s C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital says adults rank childhood obesity, stress and teen pregnancy as the biggest problems.
Most of those surveyed think those problems are getting worse.
Recent national statistics on obesity show the prevalence of childhood obesity leveling off. However, according to a report released by the C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital Poll on children’s health, public concern about childhood obesity is remains high.
Dr. Matthew Davis, director of the poll and associate professor of pediatrics and internal medicine in the Child Health Evaluation and Research Unit at the U-M Medical School, said there are other worries.
We are seeing some new concerns such as Internet safety and not enough opportunities for physical activity, Davis said.
“I think those are things that have come up just in the last 10 years or certainly within the last generation, but there are also other concerns such as smoking, tobacco and drug use, teen pregnancy and child abuse that are chronic problems for our society and for other countries around the world,” he said.
“Stress is right up there at number five,” Davis said. “Now in Michigan where we know it’s been so difficult for families in this economic downturn that’s lasted for so many years that’s probably not a big surprise, but these are national numbers to point to how concerned adults are about the stress that kids are feeling during the current economic times.”
Davis said the national data about the rates of childhood obesity leveling off were collected in 2007 and 2008.
“The perspectives we’re hearing in this poll in 2010 may reflect new changes in obesity rates seen by adults in communities across the country,” Davis said.
The poll asked 2,064 adults to rate 20 different health concerns for children living in their communities. The top 10 overall health concerns for U.S. children in 2010 and the percentage of adults who rate each as a “big problem” include:
1. Childhood obesity, 38 percent
2. Drug abuse, 30 percent
3. Smoking, 29 percent
4. Internet safety, 25 percent
5. Stress, 24 percent
6. Bullying, 23 percent
7. Teen pregnancy, 23 percent
8. Child abuse and neglect, 21 percent
9. Alcohol abuse, 20 percent
10. Not enough opportunities for physical activity, 20 percent
Adults who rated health concerns as a big problem, were also asked to rate whether these health problems are getting better, staying the same or getting worse. Fifty-seven percent of adults that rate childhood obesity as a big problem for kids say it is “getting worse.”
(Copyright 2010 by WWJ Newsradio 950. All Rights Reserved)