U.S. adults acknowledging concern for childhood inactivity, obesity, poll finds

August 22, 2012

Nearly two in five U.S. adults consider lack of exercise a primary health concern for children, according to the C.S. Mott Children's Hospital National Poll on Children's Health. This unprecedented result received national attention in The Indianapolis Star
and USA Today.

The poll, directed by Dr. Matthew Davis, compiles a top 10 list by asking adults nationwide to identify what health concerns they have for children in their communities. For the first time, "not enough exercise" topped the list, named by 39 percent of respondents. A closely related problem, obesity, was named nearly as often, appearing in 38 percent of replies.

"The strong perception that lack of exercise is a threat to children's health may reflect effective recent public health messages from programs such as First Lady Michelle Obama's 'Let's Move' campaign," Dr. Davis said in a release. "But lack of exercise offers many more benefits other than weight loss or preventing obesity – such as better attention and learning in school and improved sense of well-being."

Dr. Davis is faculty lead for the MD/MPP dual-degree program with the Ford School and director of the University of Michigan Forum on Health Policy.

The sixth annual poll was first reported by CBS Detroit and MLive.com.

[Read more about the C.S. Mott Children's Hospital National Poll on Children's Health
on its website.
[ Video: Watch Dr. Matthew Davis discuss the top 10 health concerns
for U.S. children in 2012.