Drug abuse, obesity are top two concerns for children’s health, poll finds

Childhood obesity and drug abuse are the top two worries for children. Those were the results of a University of Michigan poll that asked people to rate 23 different health concerns for kids living in their communities. When it came to obesity and drug abuse, 33 percent of people rated them as being the biggest problems, research-reporting service Newswise reports.

In 2007, 37 percent of Kentucky children were either obese or overweight, Childhood Obesity Action Network numbers show. Drug abuse, particularly of prescription pills and methamphetamine, is likewise a notable problem in Kentucky.

Smoking and tobacco use came in third place, followed by teen pregnancy, bullying, Internet safety, stress, alcohol abuse, driving accidents and sexting. Internet safety and sexting are new to the top 10 list.

“The perception of drug abuse as a big problem matches recent national data showing increasing use of marijuana and other drugs by U.S. teens,” said Matthew Davis, director of the National Poll on Children’s Health.
“Meanwhile, although obesity remains at the top of the list of child health concerns for the fourth straight year, the level of public concern has declined over the last few years in our poll,” Davis said. “This may be a warning to public health officials, because it indicates how the public is hearing national messages that previous increases in children’s obesity rates have recently leveled off.” (Read more)
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