Childhood obesity: The top children’s health concern in recent years

The National Poll on Children’s Health takes the pulse of the adults in the country each year about the top health issues for kids in their communities. The 2014 top 10 list will be released soon, so we’re spending this week looking in depth at some of the top health issues of years past.

For the past seven years that NPCH has done a top 10 report, childhood obesity has been among the top three kids’ health concerns overall – and for five of those years, obesity ranked as the number one kids’ health concern. As a result of this widespread national concern, doctors, organizations, and researchers have all devoted a great deal of energy to finding answers and solutions.

Recent data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shed light on a new aspect of the obesity epidemic: many children who are overweight and obese think their weight is normal.

The study was part of the CDC’s National Health and Nutritional Examination Survey. Children had their height and weight measured and were then asked if they considered themselves to be fat or overweight, too thin, or about the right weight. 48% of obese boys and 36% of obese girls said their weight was “about right”.

Experts have found this concerning because children are more likely to work toward a healthy weight if they know they are overweight or obese. The researchers who conducted this study are hopeful that understanding how children perceive their own weight will lead to better interventions in the future.

Is obesity a major concern for kids in your community? What do you think will be the top 10 health concerns in 2014? Here’s the 2013 list:

Top 10 Children's Health Concerns, 2013
View full size image | See the 2013 Top 10 Report

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