Report: parents don't recognize when children are overweight

77 percent of parents with overweight children in England fail to identify their children have put on too much weight.
By Aileen Graef  |  March 27, 2014 at 10:53 AM
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One of the problems causing childhood obesity is that parents can't recognize when their children are overweight or at risk of being overweight.

The Chief Medical officer of England, Dame Sally Davies, says that overweight or obese is the "new normal," and that is negatively affecting childhood obesity rates.

"Clearly, fat is the new normal. It is because average weight is overweight and so we need to protect people from being unhealthy. We need them to understand being overweight is unhealthy and we need to help them understand what they can do about it," says Davies.

In England, 63 percent of adults and 28 percent of children are considered overweight or obese, with 77 percent of parents failing to recognize their children are overweight.

One of the problems is that children who are considered overweight are often bullied, and parents who are told their children are overweight often feel that it's bringing attention to their failure as parents. But David Christie of Active Living says that is not true.

"If you get a letter from say the National Child Measurement Program that your child is overweight, you probably feel they're trying to say you're a bad parent and that's not the case," Christie says. "Children can eat healthy diets but if you have too much of healthy food, if they're not active, they can put on weight."


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