Tag: obesity

Do 54% of Children Have a Chronic Health Condition?

Have you heard the claim from anti-vax folks that kids today are sicker than they used to be? That 54% of children have a chronic health condition?

Do you really want to be misled by anti-vax propaganda?
Do you really want to be misled by anti-vax propaganda?

Is that true?

Do 54% of Children Have a Chronic Health Condition?

Of course not.

The number comes from a 2011 report, A national and state profile of leading health problems and health care quality for US children: key insurance disparities and across-state variations, a study that is being misused by anti-vax folks.

“An estimated 43% of US children (32 million) currently have at least 1 of 20 chronic health conditions assessed, increasing to 54.1% when overweight, obesity, or being at risk for developmental delays are included; 19.2% (14.2 million) have conditions resulting in a special health care need, a 1.6 point increase since 2003.”

Bethell et al on A national and state profile of leading health problems and health care quality for US children: key insurance disparities and across-state variations.

For one thing, the study doesn’t say anything about vaccines.

And another, the researchers don’t actually say that 54% of children have chronic health conditions!

“And before parents panic, both studies — but especially the 2011 Academic Pediatrics paper — use rather broad definitions of chronic disease.

The 54% of kids with a chronic condition in 2007 include children with asthma, environmental allergies, ADHD, chronic ear infections, kids 10 or older who are overweight or obese, and young children “at risk” for a developmental delay, among many others.

Environmental allergies alone affected 24% of kids, while nearly a third of the older children were overweight or obese, and more than a quarter of the young children were considered at risk for developmental delay.”

Williamson Misleads on Children’s Health, Vaccines

Even more importantly, the survey on which the study was based actually says that the great majority of parents consider their kids to be in excellent or very good health!

The survey did not say that 54% of children had chronic health conditions.

And the percent of kids with excellent or very good health had been very steady in recent years.

The percent of kids with excellent or very good health has been very steady in recent years.

In fact, in the very latest survey, it is up to 90%!

Not only are 54% of children not in poor health, with chronic health problems, 90% of today's parents describe their children's health as excellent or very good!
Not only are 54% of children not in poor health, with chronic health problems, 90% of today’s parents describe their children’s health as excellent or very good!

Which effectively destroys the anti-vax argument that immunizations are causing kids to have a lot of chronic health conditions, as they have been getting more immunizations and greater protection against even more vaccine-preventable diseases during this time!

More on Kids and Chronic Health Conditions