4 of 5 Kentuckians think child obesity is a problem, and more than half favor a statewide smoking ban, poll finds

More than four out of five Kentuckians think too many children are overweight, and more than half want a statewide smoking ban. These are two of key findings of the Kentucky Health Issues Poll, which also asked respondents about prescription drug abuse, depression and access to health care.

Poll findings are available by clicking here. Findings have been broken down by region: Western Kentucky, greater Louisville, greater Lexington area, Northern Kentucky and Eastern Kentucky.

Statewide, the poll found 54 percent of Kentuckians favor a statewide smoking ban, up from 53 percent the year before. In 2010, Kentuckians were split down the middle, 48 percent to 48 percent.

A whopping 84 percent of Kentuckians feel childhood obesity is a problem, which is timely since 33 percent of children, 60 percent of women and 80 percent of men in Kentucky are overweight or obese, “Shaping Kentucky’s Future: A Community Guide to Reducing Obesity” reports.

The poll also found more than one in three Kentuckians know someone who has misused prescription drugs; 65 percent of adults dispose of their prescription drugs in an unsafe way; nearly half keep guns in their homes; and 1 in 2 Kentuckians have a family member or friend with a serious problem of depression. Nearly 90 percent of people asked favor providing access to affordable, quality health care for all Americans.

“The Kentucky Health Issues Poll provides an excellent snapshot of how various health related issues are viewed throughout the commonwealth,” said Dr. Susan Zepeda, CEO of the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky, which helped fund the poll. “The survey’s methodology lets us compare responses and learn about regional differences in Kentucky views about health.”

The poll was also funded by The Health Foundation of Greater Cincinnati. It was conducted Sept. 27 to Oct. 27 by the Institute for Policy Research at the University of Cincinnati. A random sample of adults across Kentucky were interviewed, including 1,313 landline interviews and 308 cell-phone interviews.

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