Childhood obesity has long been recognized as a major health issue in the US. A recent poll shows that kids’ inactivity is the biggest health concern Americans have today when it comes to the children’s health.
It’s an epidemic of couch potatoes, starting from toddlers to teenagers, parents and grandparents. A survey by the University of Michigan called C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital National Poll on Children’s Health shows Americans today are most worried about their kids’ inactivity, followed closely by childhood obesity and smoking tobacco.
Ask any parent today what are his or her biggest health concern when it comes to kids. You’ll get an array of answers, one more urgent than the other. Drug and alcohol abuse, depression and teen pregnancy used to be parents’ biggest health concern. Now, priorities seem to have changed, as Americans prove to be more obesity aware.
Not getting enough exercise ranked as the biggest child health concern for 39 percent of the Americans that took part in the survey. Childhood obesity ranks second, with 38 percent respondents, after it topped the list last year.
Matthew Davis, poll director, explained “childhood obesity remains a top concern, and adults know it is certainly linked to lack of exercise”. But it is the actual exercise that “offers many more benefits other than weight loss or preventing obesity” he adds. Not getting enough exercise might hinder children’s attention and ability to learn in school as well as their “sense of well-being”.
Smoking and tobacco use ranked third on the list of Americans top 10 child health concern with 34 percent. Drug abuse followed closely with 33 percent Americans worried about it. Bullying, stress, alcohol abuse, teen pregnancy, internet safety and child abuse and neglect are also at the top of the biggest health concern list Americans have about children.
The survey also showed results varied on race and ethnicity. For instance, Hispanic Americans rated childhood obesity as the biggest health concern for kids today, while not getting enough exercise followed in second. Black adults on the other hand had racial inequality ranked seventh in the list of top 10 child health concerns.
“Child health varies across communities, and there results emphasize a need for local programs that respect and address community-specific health priorities for youth” explained Matthew Davis.