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Parents Fail To Recognize
Their Child's Obesity


BALTIMORE (Reuters Health) - Parents of half the obese children in a recent study did not recognize their child's obesity, and nearly three-quarters did not see their child's weight as a problem.

In the face of rising rates of childhood obesity in the US, it is important that parents know if their child is overweight, understand the health hazards associated with obesity and seek treatment, Dr. Jennifer Bass of Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, New York, said Tuesday at the Pediatric Academic Societies Annual Meeting here.

Bass and colleagues asked 260 parents who brought their 3- to 10-year-old children to an inner-city clinic whether they would classify their children and themselves as normal, underweight or overweight, and whether they thought their child's weight was a health problem.

Thirty-eight percent of the children were obese, but half of these obese children were misclassified by their parents, Bass said.

Only a minority of parents of obese children had been told by their doctor that the child was overweight, according to the results. Parents who were given this information were more likely to assess their child's weight accurately.

More than 70% of the parents of overweight children said that their child's weight was not a health problem, Bass noted, but parents who correctly identified their child as overweight were more likely to recognize the health hazards of obesity.

``Effective treatment of childhood obesity may require attention to the ability of parents to recognize that their child is overweight,'' Bass concluded.


Reference Source 89

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