Parents Don't Think Their Overweight Kids Are FatPosted on Feb 1st 2010 12:00PM by Deborah Dunham
Filed Under: Diet & Weight Loss
It's hard to fight childhood obesity when parents of overweight children don't even recognize there is a problem. In a recent study, researchers in the Netherlands found that most mothers and fathers tend to think their children are smaller than they actually are -- even those who are overweight or obese.
Scientists at the University Medical Center Groningen evaluated questionnaires from more than 800 parents with 4- and 5-year-olds. They found that 75 percent of mothers and 77 percent of fathers with overweight kids thought their child was a normal weight. Those with clinically obese children (weighing 20 percent over the recommended weight) were also in denial with 50 percent of the moms and 39 percent of the dads thinking their son or daughter was a healthy size. Interestingly enough, even parents with children at a normal weight thought their offspring was one size slimmer than they actually were.
The cause for this misperception? Two reasons, according to Pieter Sauer, lead author of the study and professor of pediatrics at the University Medical Center Groningen. "First, the public perception of normal weight for children has shifted towards a higher weight than can be calculated from accepted growth curves," the authors wrote in the February issue of the journal Acta Paediatrica. "Second, parents of overweight and a majority of obese children do not recognize their child as such."
Do you know parents who are in denial about their child's weight problem? Have you ever been told by a doctor that your child needs to lose weight?
Parents may be part of the problem, but do we also live in a country that caters to obesity?