Child Well-being index shows significant drops in teen pregnancy, crime...rise in obesity

Commerce – The latest Child Well-Being index was released recently, showing a drastic drop in several problem areas over the last decade. Teen births, binge drinking, smoking, and teen crime have all fallen. Brian Brumley, who spent 11 years with Child Protective Services and is currently the Director of the Title IV-E program at A&M-Commerce which helps students with careers in Child Welfare, said economics plays a major factor.

BRUMLEY:...when you look at how the trends drop, the economy gets better. teens are a part of that, and they have other opportunities.

Brumley also said the lowered trends, especially in smoking, can be attributed to better education and information available to teens today.

BRUMLEY: ...smoking cessation and anti-smoking programs, which now have become very prevalent in society.

One thing is on the rise in for teens...obesity. Brumley explained how that is going to be a major health concern in the coming years.

BRUMLEY: ...that is going to be a major health issue over the next few years about how we're going to impact that, and it's already started. If you'll look at the State of Texas, Texas has tried to institute some programs that reduce the number of sugar treats that are offered in the school systems, sugar laden drinks, all those kinds of things.

The Child Well-Being index was begun in 1975. Click here to listen to the full interview, as KETR's Kevin Jefferies speaks with Title IV-E Director for A&M-Commerce, Brian Brumley.