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Presidential candidates should address childhood obesity and bullying, poll says
Date:6/18/2012

ANN ARBOR, Mich. During this presidential election season, there will be plenty of debate between the candidates on the issues. But when it comes to childhood health concerns, a new poll shows many adults agree on the top priorities they want to see the candidates address: childhood obesity and bullying.

The University of Michigan C.S. Mott Children's Hospital National Poll on Children's Health recently asked adults to name the top child health concerns that the presidential candidates should address.

In a survey of more than 2,100 adults, participants selected the single most important child health issue from a list of 24 common child health concerns. Overall, childhood obesity was ranked highest, followed by bullying, drug abuse and child abuse and neglect.

In the poll, about one in six adults (17 percent) ranked childhood obesity first, and one in 7 (15 percent) put bullying as the top concern. Drug abuse was ranked highest by 11 percent and 8 percent chose child abuse and neglect. Together, these four priorities were the choice of over half of U.S. adults.

Answers did not differ based on the respondents' political party affiliation or race/ethnicity.

"Healthcare reform is a major topic during this election season, but much of that focuses on uninsured adults and the costs of healthcare. The health of children usually is not the focus of the political talk," says Matthew M. Davis M.D., M.A.P.P., director of the C.S. Mott Children's Hospital National Poll on Children's Health. But many serious health problems for adults stem from behaviors and patterns that begin in childhoodfor instance, obesity, heart disease, diabetes, and depression, Davis says, which reinforces the need for policies of early intervention.

"By asking about children's health and health policy, we hope to bring the public's voice to the policymakers. We found that no matter their politics or race/ethnicity, adults in the US agree on th
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Contact: Mary F. Masson
mfmasson@umich.edu
734-764-2220
University of Michigan Health System
Source:Eurekalert

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