Children’s Well-being: 2010 Report

The recently released report, America’s Children in Brief: Key National Indicators of Well-Being 2010, presents federal data on over 40 indicators of child health and wellness across seven domains: Family and Social Environment, Economic Circumstances, Health Care, Physical Environment and Safety, Behavior, Education, and Health.

Findings include:

  • 75% of children ages birth through 17 years old live with at least one parent who is employed full time, year round.
  • 22% of children from birth to 17 years old are living in “food insecure homes” (the highest ever since data monitoring commenced).
  • 8% of 8th-graders, 18% of 10th-graders, and 23% of 12th-graders reported personal illegal drug use in the past 30 days.
  • Nearly 1 in 5 children (19%) ages 6–17 are obese.
  • 19% percent of all children ages birth through 17 are living in poverty.

The complete report is available at Childstats.gov.

Consumers Wary of Evidence-Based Health Care

Findings from a study entitled Evidence that Consumers are Skeptical about Evidence-Based Care, published last month in Health Affairs, indicate a lack of consumer support for evidence-based health care.

Personal values and beliefs, such as quantity of care trumping quality of care and the expectations of the traditional, authoritarian doctor-patient relationship, as well as a lack of comprehension of evidence-based terminology were cited as factors in these findings.

Commentary on the study can be found here and here.

Childhood Obesity

Recent reports on childhood obesity indicate that although interventions are taking place to address the problem, substantial challenges remain. Still, there is some promising news:

  • In May 2010, the White House Task Force on Childhood Obesity released their recommendations for addressing this serious health issue using public and private actions, initiatives and benchmarks. The recommendations were centered around: education and empowerment of families to make healthy decisions, accessibility and affordability of healthy foods and increased physical activity.
  • Wellness programs in schools may hold the key to successfully addressing this health problem according to the results of a three-year study just published in the New England Journal of Medicine. This study, conducted by the The HEALTHY Study Group, found that while the interventions didn’t reduce the overweight and obesity rate overall, it did reduce the risk of diabetes and the rate of obesity in the highest risk group of children.