What concerns adults most about their kids' health? Quite a lot, according to a new University of Michigan C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital National Poll on Children’s Health.
In the poll’s annual top 10 list, a nationwide sample of adults were asked to identify the top 10 biggest health concerns for kids in their communities.
4. Drug abuse
Adults rank drug abuse in kids as the No. 4 biggest health concern. It’s no surprise as to why: Nearly one in five students between the ages of 12 and 17 do drugs, drink alcohol or smoke cigarettes during the school day, a recent study by the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University found.
More than a third pointed to smoking and tobacco use as the biggest health concerns for kids. The poll’s results also varied based on race and ethnicity. For example, Hispanic adults were more likely to rate childhood obesity first, while blacks were more concerned about smoking.
2. Childhood obesity
Apparently, obesity is a big problem for everyone (no pun intended). Obesity rates among children ages 6 to 11 have quadrupled over the past four decades, according to the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Today, about a fifth of American children are obese.
And it’s no secret there are serious consequences: Childhood obesity puts kids at a higher risk for serious illnesses like heart disease, stroke, diabetes, asthma and certain types of cancer.
1. Lack of exercise
Lack of exercise tops the list of the biggest concerns about kids’ health, as cited as a “big problem” by 39 percent of adults surveyed.