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Parents shocked by overweight children

A recent survey revealed that around a third of parents are surprised when they are informed that their child is overweight and that their health is at risk as a result.

Over 200 parents whose children had been referred to an obesity clinic by their main General Practitioner (GP) took part in a survey carried out by UC San Diego. A large number of parents were not concerned about the weight of their children until referred by a doctor.

More than half said that they would improve their child’s diet, replacing junk food with fruit and vegetables, while just over 40% spoke of increasing the level of physical activity. Almost a third of the parents commented that they didn’t have any concerns about their child’s weight, despite being referred to an obesity clinic by a doctor.

Healthy Hearts, the obesity clinic at UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital in Oakland, receives about 300 new referrals every year, with many of the parents shocked that their child has been sent there. According to the co-director of the clinic, Dr June Tester, childhood obesity has become a common problem and a child who is overweight doesn’t stand out in the school environment.

Schools in the UK are working hard towards introducing healthy foods to students, starting with the school tuck shop. Lincolnshire faculties are amongst the first to introduce nutritious snacks for their pupils.

The survey also revealed that parents with kids aged 14 or over found it particularly hard to deal with weight problems, possibly as they have less control over the consumption of food.

Posted by Susan
August 3, 2014

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