Study Says Parents Ignore Their Children's Weight Gain
Childhood obesity is a severe problem in the US. Are only the parents culpable? Shouldn't pediatricians hawkishly track children's weight gain?
Parents, pediatricians and even nursery schools or kindergartens should identify a child's weight problems, however, this is not happening according to a new study which found that parents of heavy kids couldn't recall anyone mentioning their kid's overweight problem. This occurred in more than three quarters of the population studied. And though the study couldn't specifically identify the reason why, it did indicate that there was little if any solid, persistent and forceful communication to them about their kids' weight issues.
Lead researcher, Dr. Eliana Perrin of the University of North Carolina, who analyzed government health surveys of nearly 5,000 parents of heavy kids from 1999 to 2008 surmised that parents neither acknowledge nor notice when their kid is gaining weight. Is it the love factor, genetics or not wanting to push their kid to eat out of rebellion? Whatever it is, one third of US children are overweight, 17 percent are obese and if the parents are overweight or obese, then no one is seeing the problem. And besides, there's always the thought that as kids age, they'll "grow out of it," comforting to be sure, but unfortunately, if it used to be the case, it's not any more, based upon current numbers by the National Institutes of Health.
Another problem the study noted was that though doctors did inform them, oftentimes, the damage had been done. The numbers are abysmally low for the population surveyed: doctors didn't discuss the problem with 88 % of overweight preschoolers' parents and 70% of overweight teens' parents. And even among very obese children, only 58 percent of the parents remembered a doctor talking to them about their kids' weight, as reported by the Journal Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, on Monday.
"Many pediatricians don't worry until children are very overweight, or until they're much older. If we can notice a concerning trend early, we're more likely to be able to do something about it," said Perrin who has created charts to help doctors.Continued on the next page