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 child’s 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.