Parents Don’t Think Kids’ Obesity is a Health Problem

It appears the parents of obese children may have a bit of a blind spot when it comes to their childís health. A new study from the University of California San Diego School of Medicine suggests that parents of obese children don’t recognize the health consequences obese children may face.

The study also suggests that the same parents may not understand the importance of daily physical activity in helping their children reach a healthier weight.

Lead author of the study Kyung Rhee, MD, said in a statement, “Parents have a hard time changing their child’s dietary and physical activity behaviors. Our study tells us what factors may be associated with a parent’s motivation to help their child become more healthy.”

For the study, parents of children enrolled in an obesity clinic were surveyed about their readiness to take steps towards improvement of their child’s eating and exercise habits.

Through the surveys it was discovered that 31.4 percent of parents perceived their child’s health as very good or excellent. Additionally, 28 percent did not see their child’s weight as a health concern at all. Less than half the parents surveyed said they were doing anything to improve their child’s physical activity levels, though they were improving their child’s eating habits.

Healthy eating is an important part of getting to and maintaining a healthy weight, but physical activity is also a key part of that process.

Recently, a report card on kids’ physical activity was released and as no surprise to anyone, the report card shows we’re failing. Kids across the United States aren’t getting enough physical activity, which is undoubtedly contributing to the child obesity epidemic.

Researchers for the study suggest America’s youth have a more sedentary lifestyle, which can contribute to being out of shape. They also suggest that playtime has been replaced with screen-time, a trend they hope reverses.

They agree one way to avoid the trend is for parents to help their kids become more active at a younger age. Parents with children under the age of 14 were found to be much more successful when they intervened and helped their child become more active.

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101 comments

Elena T.
Elena Poensgen2 years ago

Thank you :)

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Erin H.
Erin H2 years ago

Interesting article, thank you!

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Norma Villarreal
Norma Villarreal2 years ago

The whole family must find a way to promote healthy lifestyles with more veggies, less processed foods and exercise.

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.2 years ago



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Anteater Ants
Anteater Ants2 years ago

What if they switched to ants?

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Ana R
ANA MARIJA R2 years ago

Parents are major role model for everything in life...

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Danuta Watola
Danuta W2 years ago

Thanks for sharing.

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Mahalia W.
Mahalia W2 years ago

Thank you for sharing.

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Yvonne Graf
Yvonne Graf2 years ago

To Luna S. when I see over skinny people with their really skinny kids I get disgusted! You judge people by their looks then you are really UGLY inside! All people should be judged by who they are not what they look like. Your comment was VERY UNCALLED for and I flagged it as such.

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Patti Ruocco
Patti Ruocco2 years ago

Obesity has many social and emotional factors. People eat to fill in the holes of their life--loneliness, lack of sleep (as a night nurse I too often substitute calories for sleep) --poor budget, poor nutritional education, comfort foods for big and little traumas, and well--that's the way Grandma cooked! Fast food is part of the problem, as is lack of activity. We don't' encourage our kids to be active unless they are on specific teams--if they are in the house in front of a screen, they are safe. But not healthy. Much of it does involve how much time we as parents now give our children--we are now more interested in giving them 'stuff' and the things money can buy instead of just being outside with them...and Grandma could cook that way and people were SO much more active in those days!!!

As a nurse I have seen "Pickwickian's Syndrome'--obesity that leads to an ever worsening spiral of weight related organ failure, systems fail and respiratory issues in people as young as 20. And they often die from it. It is sad, and angering. There is an aspect of it that is child abuse, but in some it is an addiction as well. By the time they die, these people are so big they can't get out of bed, and someone else is obviously supplying their food...

Another thing that comes up is now we have this attitude that 'everyone is beautiful' and ANY thing we do to say fat is not good is bullying and body-shaming. There is a difference between being a few dress sizes bigger than

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