The top 10 children’s health concerns among people of all races include childhood obesity, drug abuse, and smoking and teen pregnancy, according to a recent poll by the University of Michigan C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital National Poll of Children’s Health.
The annual poll, released August 15, asked Hispanic, Black and White respondents to rank the importance of 23 health concerns for children in their own community. Different ethnicities indicated varying levels of concern for specific health issues.
Overall, Blacks and Hispanics were more likely than Whites to rank children’s health issues as “a big problem” in the community.
The #2 children’s health concern for Hispanics was teen pregnancy, with 44% of respondents calling it “a big problem,” compared with 33% of Blacks and 19% of Whites. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Hispanics had the highest rate of teen pregnancy in 2009, with 70.1 births per 1,000 women aged 15-19, compared to a national rate of 39.1 births.
For Blacks, community safety concerns predominated. More than a third of Black respondents were extremely worried about the effects of gun-related injuries, school violence, and unsafe neighborhoods, issues that were not among the top concerns for Hispanics or Whites.
Childhood obesity ranked as a higher concern for whites (#1) than for Blacks (#2) and Hispanics (#3), but only 30% of Whites considered the disease to be “a big problem,” while 44% of both Blacks and Hispanics considered it “a big problem”.