ATLANTA, Sept. 9 (UPI) -- Most Georgia parents recognize the severity of childhood obesity, but are in denial when it comes to their own obese children, experts say.
Dr. Stephanie Walsh, medical director of wellness at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta, said many parents fear "The Talk" about weight and body issues with their kids more than the talks about sex and drugs.
The study surveyed 1,043 families with children ages 11 and younger, representing a cross-section of the state of Georgia, and found 42 percent have overweight or obese kids. Of those families, 76 percent of the parents misclassified their children as either underweight or normal weight.
Parents need to realize that before they can talk to their kids about their weight, they have to have an honest conversation with themselves about family health risks, habits and the kind of role models they want to be for their children.
"It's time for parents to be stronger than the thoughts that hold them back," Walsh said in a statement.
Children's Healthcare of Atlanta developed the Strong4Life movement -- at Strong4Life.com -- in 2011 to help parents and children reverse the epidemic of childhood obesity in Georgia, Walsh said.