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Health & Parenting

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Adults' Top 10 Concerns About Kids

Smoking, Teen Drug Abuse, Childhood Obesity Lead the List, Poll Shows
WebMD Health News
Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD

May 4, 2007 -- Adults' top concerns about U.S. children are smoking, teen drug abuse, and childhood obesity, a new poll shows.

The National Poll on Children's Health included a nationally representative group of 2,076 adults.

Knowledge Networks conducted the poll in March for the University of Michigan's C.S. Mott Children's Hospital.

Participants were asked to rate 17 different health concerns for children living in their communities.

Here are their top 10 concerns and the percentage of participants rating each concern as a "big problem." Participants could use the "big problem" rating more than once.

  1. Smoking: 40%
  2. Teen drug abuse: 39%
  3. Childhood obesity: 34%
  4. Teen alcohol abuse: 33%
  5. Driving accidents: 29%
  6. Teen pregnancy: 28%
  7. Internet safety: 26%
  8. School violence: 24%
  9. Sexually transmitted infection: 24%
  10. Abuse and neglect: 22%

"Of note, ratings for the top 10 list did not differ between adults who have children in their households and those who do not," states the poll report.

The poll's seven other health concerns were psychological stress, depression, eating disorders, suicide, autism, childhood cancer, and food contamination.

Ratings varied somewhat. For instance, black adults rated teen pregnancy as the top health concern, and adults with college degrees were more likely than those with no college degree to rate childhood obesity as a top concern.

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