Parents Oblivious to Kids Obesity

February 1, 2010

1 Min Read
Parents Oblivious to Kids Obesity

GRONINGEN, The NetherlandsA new study from researchers at the University Medical Centre Groningen revealed many parents have a distorted view of their childrens weight. In fact, 75 percent of parents believed their obese 4- or 5-year-olds were within normal weight ranges.

The findings, published in the February issue of Acta Paediatrica, revealed mothers and fathers of overweight and obese children were significantly heavier than the parents of normal weight children. When asked to choose their childs body shape from seven different sketches, 97 percent of parents with normal weight children chose a lighter sketch than the data they provided indicated. The same was true of 95 per cent of the parents of overweight children and 62 percent of the parents of obese children. Parents of normal weight children tended to think their child was one sketch slimmer than their Body Mass Index (BMI) indicated and parents of obese children often chose sketches that were three slimmer.

Its estimated that 10 percent of children in The Netherlands are overweight, compared with 20 per cent in the United States, the researchers wrote. The fact that the parents in our study perceived their children to be lighter than their BMI indicated is cause for concern. Our findings point to the need for health education programs that encourage parents to recognize what is a normal healthy weight for their children and work with health professionals to tackle any weight problems.

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