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New Study Suggests Parents Can’t Recognise their Children’s Weight Problems


New Study Suggests Parents Can’t Recognise their Children’s Weight ProblemsChildhood obesity is a complicated disease that’s on the rise globally and now affects over twice as many children as it did 30 years ago. That’s according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

In an attempt to understand how the link between parents and obese children can be used to improve paediatric health, researchers from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine studied the responses given by 2,976 questionnaire respondents – 369 of which had children who were heavily overweight.

During the study, the researchers uncovered that 31 percent of the parents interviewed were unable to classify their own child’s BMI scale range. This is worrying because it suggests that many parents simply do not acknowledge when their child is overweight and, therefore, are unlikely to do anything about it.

The study’s senior author, Dr. Sanjay Kinra - reader in clinical epidemiology at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine – said: "If parents are unable to accurately classify their own child's weight, they may not be willing or motivated to enact the changes to the child's environment that promote healthy weight maintenance.”

Staggeringly, more than one third of American children are either overweight or obese and that’s a problem which will only worsen unless parents start taking measures now.

Children's Weight Problems

Another of the study’s authors, Professor Russell Viner - an academic paediatrician at the UCL Institute of Child Health – said: "Measures that decrease the gap between parental perceptions of child weight status and obesity scales used by medical professionals may now be needed in order to help parents better understand the health risks associated with overweight and increase uptake of healthier lifestyles.”


Photo credit: U.S. News