Children are hugely influenced by their parents, and this influence is of paramount importance to child health. A new study carried out by Dr Jennifer Bass of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York revealed on Tuesday that parents of half the obese children who took part failed to recognise their child’s obesity. Almost 75% were unconcerned by their offspring’s weight.
Bass’ study looked at 260 families who came with their children, aged three to ten, to an inner-city clinic. When questioned on their attitude to their child’s health, half of the parents failed to classify their children as obese. The study indicated that only a small minority of parents had been told by their family doctor or other medical authority that their child’s weight put them in the obese category.
Health authorities around the world are working to educate parents on how they can improve their child’s health by helping them stay slim. Much of the problem stems from the trend that obese children very often have obese parents.
The matter needs to be dealt with sensitively while still conveying a sense of urgency – no easy task. A couple of years ago The American Heart Association was slammed for running a Public Service Announcement on childhood obesity which critics said equated being overweight with being disgusting.
just-food.com has published a story on a similar study carried out by the University of Chicago. To read it click here.