From Our 2009 Archives
Obesity Is Biggest Health Problem for Kids
Drug Abuse, Bullying, Internet Safety, and Stress Also Make Top 10 List
Reviewed By Louise Chang, MD
Aug. 13, 2009 -- U.S. adults continue to rate obesity as the biggest health problem for children, according to a 2009 poll conducted by C.S. Mott Children's Hospital.
Although childhood obesity ranked No. 1 last year also, this is the first year it ranked at the top for whites, Hispanics, and African-Americans. Last year, Hispanics rated smoking as the top child health concern and African-Americans ranked teenage pregnancy.
Stress, which came in at No. 8, made the top 10 list for the first time this year. It ranked especially high among lower-income participants, perhaps reflecting the stresses that children face as their parents struggle in the current economy.
The complete list of children's health concerns rated as a "big problem:"
The fact that stress -- and many other problems on the list -- are
behavioral or psychological in nature means that families need more than just
good health care; they also need “guidance from community health and
educational programs that cultivate healthy, protective behaviors and offer
support when health problems
The nationally representative survey was conducted in May 2009 and included 2,017 randomly selected adults 18 or older. Participants were asked to rank 23 different health concerns facing children in their communities. The margin of error is plus or minus three to four percentage points.
SOURCES: Survey, University of Michigan C.S. Mott Children's Hospital National Poll on Children's Health, Aug. 10, 2009; vol 7, issue 2. Survey, University of Michigan C.S. Mott Children's Hospital National Poll on Children's Health, July 14, 2008; vol 4, issue 2. News release, University of Michigan.
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