Childhood health poll: Americans most concerned about inactive, obese children

Aug 20, 2012

People in the United States are more concerned about the physical fitness of their community's children than any other health issue.

That was the finding of a University of Michigan C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital poll on children’s health.

When asked about the nation's most pressing childhood health concerns, 39 percent of adults listed "not enough exercise," trailed by "childhood obesity" with 38 percent.

In a press advisory released from from Mott Children's Hospital today, Doctor Matthew M. Davis said:

“Childhood obesity remains a top concern, and adults know it is
certainly linked to lack of exercise. The strong perception that lack of exercise is a threat to children’s
health may reflect effective recent public health messages from
programs such as First Lady Michelle Obama’s ‘Let’s Move’ campaign."

According to the poll, some of the other top concerns adults have about childhood health include drug and alcohol abuse, bullying, stress, teen pregnancy, Internet safety and child abuse and neglect.

For the past several years, the annual poll indicated U.S. adults viewed childhood obesity and drug abuse as the two biggest problems.

Davis says the hospital uses this "top ten list" to create programs focused on remedying the nation's biggest childhood health problems. Here he is explaining the survey's findings:

-Elaine Ezekiel, Michigan Radio Newsroom