Parents often ignore childhood obesity

New York: Parents often fail to recognise their children's weight gain as a health concern, says a study.

Parents of obese children often do not recognise the potentially serious health consequences of childhood weight gain or the importance of daily physical activity in helping their child reach a healthy weight, the findings showed.

"Parents have a hard time changing their child's dietary and physical activity behaviours," said lead author Kyung Rhee, an assistant adjunct professor at University of California, San Diego School of Medicine in the US.

The study is based on a survey of 202 parents whose children were enrolled in an obesity clinic at the Hasbro Children's Hospital in Providence, Rhode Island in 2008 and 2009.

Although most of the children had been referred to the obesity clinic by a primary care provider and had metabolic markers of obesity, 31.4 percent of parents perceived their child's health as excellent or very good and 28 percent did not perceive their child's weight as a health concern.

The study appeared online in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.


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