Over half of parents can`t find their child obese: Report

Updated: Dec 14, 2010, 00:00 AM IST

London: Is your child putting on weight lately? Get serious, as more than half of parents often fail to spot their kids becoming clinically obese, according to a new survey.

Generally the parents think their super-sized kids just carry a small bit of weight -- when they are often so huge they require adult clothes, found the poll of almost 1,200
parents in the UK.

Britain faces a childhood obesity epidemic, with a third of kids either overweight or obese.

The parents with kids under 15 years who participated in the survey were shown digitally-altered photos of youngsters either normal weight, overweight or obese.
Fifty-one per cent could not identify the child who was obese, The Sun reported.

An adult is considered obese with a body mass index of 30 or greater. This is the weight in kilogrammes divided by the height in metres squared -- although target BMI figures for adults and kids differ. Londoners were worst at spotting bigger kids.

The survey supports British Health Department`s Child Measurement Scheme, under which kids are encouraged to get fit if they are overweight. It runs alongside the obesity-fighting Change4Life activity scheme, backed by The Sun.

Public Health Minister Anne Milton said: "Many parents may not realise their child has a problem, or they think it`s just puppy fat."

Carol Cooper, a British expert, said: "If your child consistently has to wear clothes designed for an older child, there may be something wrong.

"This is especially likely if a youngster has symptoms like shortness of breath or pain on walking or doesn`t want to exercise."

PTI