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Obesity Most Important Issue For Children's Health

CHEVY CHASE, MD — Obesity or being overweight is seen as the most important health issue for U.S. children, according to a recent poll. More than a quarter of Americans named obesity as the top health issue for kids. The second and third biggest concerns were lack of health care/insurance and nutrition/unhealthy diet.

Fifty-two percent say obesity is a public health issue that society should help solve; 46 percent say it is a private issue that people should deal with on their own, according to the poll, which was commissioned by Research!America and The Endocrine Society. Ninety-eight percent of Americans say the responsibility for addressing obesity lies to some or a great extent with the parents, while 96 percent say it lies with individuals. Other groups that those surveyed say bear some responsibility are schools (87 percent), health-care providers (84 percent), the food industry (81 percent) and government (67 percent).

Fifty-seven percent say most adults in the United States are overweight or obese, and 35 percent say most children are struggling with weight problems.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 66 percent of American adults (ages 20-74) are overweight or obese, although only about 17 percent of children (ages 2-19) are overweight or obese.

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