Child weight problems not recognised by parents


Friday 29th January, 2010

A new study from the Netherlands has discovered that many parents are unaware their children are overweight.

Researchers from the University Medical Centre Groningen found that half of mothers and two-fifths of fathers with obese children aged between four and five believed their children to be of normal weight.

In addition, 75 per cent of mothers and 77 per cent of fathers did not think there was a problem with their children’s weight.

The study involved over 800 parents and 439 children amid claims that public perception of what is deemed ‘normal weight’ has shifted due to the larger proportion of people who are now overweight or obese than in previous years.

“It is vital that parents are aware of their children’s weight if we are to prevent them becoming obese in later life,” said lead researcher Professor Pieter Sauer.

“The fact that the parents in our study perceived their children to be lighter than their BMI indicated is cause for concern.”

According to the UK government’s 2008/09 National Child Measurement Programme for England, 22.8 per cent of four to five-year-old children were overweight or obese.

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