Parents failing to recognise obesity in their children

November 25, 2004

Many parents are failing to recognise obesity and overweight problems in their children, according to a study on bmj.com today.

Researchers surveyed the parents of 277 children and found that only a quarter recognised when their offspring were overweight. Where children were obese, a third of mothers and 57% of fathers thought their sons and daughters were "about right".

Parents were less likely to recognise overweight boys than girls in the study - more than a quarter (27%) of boys who were overweight and obese were identified as such. This compares with more than half (54%) of parents recognising overweight and obese girls.

The study also revealed that some parents showed a lack of concern towards their children's weight problems. Although more than half of obese children's parents expressed some concern over their child's condition, only a quarter of parents of overweight children described themselves as even "a little worried" about it.

Misjudging weight problems was not confined to their children however. The researchers also found that of those parents who were overweight themselves, 40% of mothers and 45% of fathers judged their own weight to be "about right".

Contrary to previous findings, the study showed there were no differences between the highest and lowest socio-economic groups for the proportion of overweight parents, or for parents misjudging their children's weight. "The longstanding inverse relationship between social class and obesity has been lost in the UK", say the authors.

With more than half of British adults overweight, and obesity among preschool children up by 70% in a generation, these findings are alarming say the researchers. The apparent lack of parental concern about their overweight children is probably due to a lack of awareness, they conclude, but must be addressed if we are to halt an "impending health crisis".
-end-


BMJ

Related Obesity Articles from Brightsurf:

11 years of data add to the evidence for using testosterone therapy to treat obesity, including as an alternative to obesity surgery
New research covering 11 years of data presented at this year's European and International Congress on Obesity (ECOICO 2020) show that, in obese men suffering from hypogonadism (low testosterone), treatment with testosterone injections lowers their weight and improves a wide range of other metabolic parameters.

Overlap between immunology of COVID-19 and obesity could explain the increased risk of death in people living with obesity, and also older patients
Data presented in a special COVID-19 session at the European and International Congress on Obesity (ECOICO 2020) suggests that there are overlaps between the immunological disturbances found in both COVID-19 disease and patients with obesity, which could explain the increased disease severity and mortality risk faced by obese patients, and also elderly patients, who are infected by the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes COVID-19 disease.

New obesity guideline: Address root causes as foundation of obesity management
besity management should focus on outcomes that patients consider to be important, not weight loss alone, and include a holistic approach that addresses the root causes of obesity, according to a new clinical practice guideline published in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal) http://www.cmaj.ca/lookup/doi/10.1503/cmaj.191707.

Changing the debate around obesity
The UK's National Health Service (NHS) needs to do more to address the ingrained stigma and discrimination faced by people with obesity, says a leading health psychologist.

Study links longer exposure to obesity and earlier development of obesity to increased risk of type 2 diabetes
Cumulative exposure to obesity could be at least as important as actually being obese in terms of risk of developing type 2 diabetes (T2D), concludes new research published in Diabetologia (the journal of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes [EASD]).

How much do obesity and addictions overlap?
A large analysis of personality studies has found that people with obesity behave somewhat like people with addictions to alcohol or drugs.

Should obesity be recognized as a disease?
With obesity now affecting almost a third (29%) of the population in England, and expected to rise to 35% by 2030, should we now recognize it as a disease?

Is obesity associated with risk of pediatric MS?
A single-center study of 453 children in Germany with multiple sclerosis (MS) investigated the association of obesity with pediatric MS risk and with the response of first-line therapy in children with MS.

Women with obesity prior to conception are more likely to have children with obesity
A systematic review and meta-analysis identified significantly increased odds of child obesity when mothers have obesity before conception, according to a study published June 11, 2019 in the open-access journal PLOS Medicine by Nicola Heslehurst of Newcastle University in the UK, and colleagues.

Obesity medicine association announces major updates to its adult obesity algorithm
The Obesity Medicine Association (OMA) announced the immediate availability of the 2019 OMA Adult Obesity Algorithm, with new information for clinicians including the relationship between Obesity and Cardiovascular Disease, Diabetes Mellitus, Dyslipidemia, and Cancer; information on investigational Anti-Obesity Pharmacotherapy; treatments for Lipodystrophy; and Pharmacokinetics and Obesity.

Read More: Obesity News and Obesity Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.