Parents Afraid to Recognise their Child as Obese

New research finds that parents are reluctant to recognise their children as being obese because of accepted images that have become "the norm"

Would you know if your child was obese?

It seems a very simple question but a Boossh National Opinion Poll that involved more than 1,000 parents of children aged 4-7 found that only 14 per cent of parents of an obese child even considered their child to be overweight.

“Recent figures suggest that approximately one in three UK primary school children is overweight. The report’s conclusion should come as no surprise, then, if being overweight is basically the norm,” said Mike White, founder of Britain’s fastest-growing weight loss company.

“As a rule of thumb, you should be able to clearly see a healthy ten-year-old's ribs. It’s maddening that most people think that a child like this is severely malnourished,” said Mike.

In 2005, Government introduced the National Child Measurement Programme in primary schools to try and combat Britain’s growing child obesity problem, which has reached epidemic proportions.

Under the programme, a child’s height and weight are monitored and recorded both when they begin and finish school. In many parts of country parents are notified via letter about their child’s weight. Some become very upset when informed that their child has been classified as having a weight problem.

“The problem is further exacerbated when health professionals underestimate children’s weight. They struggle with the very same social conditioning as the parents and often mis-categorise the children,” Mike added.

Mike also cites national media as not helping the situation, as they more often than not feature photos of extreme cases of obese children when tackling the issue.

“Children classified as overweight invariably get compared by their parents to those kids featured on newspapers and television, " he said.

“Among adults, being overweight is the norm these days. Many people are not even aware they are overweight and disregard the associated health risks because they compare themselves with their peers.

"Because most of their friends are overweight, they are more comfortable with their weight and may not feel that they have a problem until they are obese. It is a vicious cycle that is extremely hard to break out of,” Mike explained.

“Fortunately, Boossh offers a very simple, efficient way to reduce weight by encouraging an active lifestyle, a healthy diet and a strong support system to keep the weight off long term,” he said.

By Shabana Adam

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This entry was posted in Child Health & Development, Parenting & Education.

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