U.S. parents' top worry: Lack of exercise

Aug. 21, 2012 at 1:48 AM
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ANN ARBOR, Mich., Aug. 21 (UPI) -- Most U.S. parents agree couch-potato kids are the biggest children's health problem, a U.S. survey indicates.

The University of Michigan C.S. Mott Children's Hospital National Poll on Children's Health found that, for the first time, a plurality of adults -- 39 percent -- rated insufficient exercise at the top of the list of problems.

Childhood obesity was ranked second at 37 percent, followed by smoking and tobacco use at 34 percent, drug abuse at 33 percent, bullying at 29 percent, stress at 27 percent, alcohol abuse at 23 percent, teen pregnancy at 23 percent, Internet safety at 22 percent and child abuse and neglect at 20 percent.

"Childhood obesity remains a top concern, and adults know it is certainly linked to lack of exercise," Dr. Matthew M. Davis, director of the C.S. Mott Children's Hospital National Poll on Children's Health, said in a statement.

Hispanic adults were more likely to rate childhood obesity first at 44 percent, followed by not enough exercise at 38 percent, and also rated drug abuse higher than smoking and tobacco use.

Black adults had higher levels of concern about smoking and tobacco use at 43 percent and they ranked racial inequality at seventh and gun-related injuries ninth.

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