ASPPH logo


Member Research & Reports

Member Research & Reports

Michigan National Poll Identifies Top 10 Child Health Concerns

When asked about national concerns, adults put school violence and gun-related injuries in the top 10, according to a new University of Michigan national poll on children’s health.


[Photo:  Dr. Matthew M. Davis]

“Obesity remains a top child health problem overall, which has been a persistent concern in our annual top 10 polls along with others like bullying, smoking, and drug abuse,” says Dr. Matthew M. Davis, a professor of health management and policy at the University of Michigan School of Public Health and director of the C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital National Poll on Children’s Health.

“But this year’s top 10 lists differ in key ways. School violence and gun-related injuries are on the list of big child health problems from a national perspective, but not a local community perspective.”

Recent shootings and other instances of violence in schools may have prompted concern among adults from a national perspective, says Davis, who also is professor of pediatrics, internal medicine, public policy.

In the poll’s annual top 10 list, a nationwide sample of adults were asked to identify the biggest health concerns for kids in their communities, as well as kids nationwide. Overall, childhood obesity is rated at the top of both lists: 29 percent of adults said obesity is a ‘big problem’ for children in their local communities and 55 percent said it is ‘big problem’ across the country.

The top 10 rankings for 2014 are:

Childhood obesity-29% Childhood obesity-55%
Smoking and tobacco use-26% Bullying-52%
Drug Abuse-26% Drug Abuse-49%
Bullying-23% Smoking and tobacco use-47%
Stress-22% School violence-44%
Alcohol abuse-19% Child abuse and neglect-42%
Internet safety-18% Alcohol abuse-41%
Child abuse and neglect-18% Internet safety-40%
Teen pregnancy-16% Gun-related injuries-39%
Not enough physical activity options-15% Teen pregnancy-37%


To read more, click here.