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Child Health Lags In Colorado, Report Finds

Kids, Children

A report that grades Colorado on the health of its citizens gave the state high marks for adult health, but mediocre scores for child health.

The 2015 Colorado Health Report Card uses indicators like obesity, poverty and access to medical care as ways to measure the overall health of people in the state. The Colorado Health Foundation puts out the report. 

"In health aging our grade went from a B+ last year to an A- this year," Kelly Duncan, with the foundation, says. "And, the improvements were in the areas of medical homes. That was a big reason that we saw this change. And, we also outpaced other states in reducing the percentage of older adults who reported limited physical activity due to poor physical or mental health."

The report ranks Oregon as first in the nation for the number of people 65 and older who participate in physical activity. Colorado places second.

But, Duncan says the state doesn’t get high marks for child health. Colorado got a C’s.

"We aren’t doing as well with healthy beginnings and healthy children," she says. "So I think we need better strategies and more deliberate focus as a state to make sure we are starting off our kids as healthy as possible because that certainly bodes well not just for their health as children, but for their health as adults."

Duncan thinks the mediocre grades for child health are a related to socioeconomics.

"So there are disparities," she says. "We know that families who are living on lower incomes their health is not doing as well families who have higher incomes."

Colorado ranked 37th in the country for uninsured children. Nevada ranked last, according to the report.

However, this data is from 2012. The Colorado Health Foundation expects grades to improve across the board as more people enroll for health insurance under expanded Medicaid and through the Affordable Care Act.

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