Parents contribute to the childhood obesity epidemic by not being interested in their children's losing weight and by being overweight themselves, according to a survey of Canadian pediatricians. The doctors told researchers that parents become defensive when they bring up the topic of their child's weight.
- Researchers from the University of Texas analyzed data from a survey of 860 Canadian children's doctors.
- The majority said that childhood obesity was a big problem, and yet only 20% said they had been successful in treating it in the past.
- The doctors told researchers that overweight parents have a "skewed" idea of what a healthy weight should be. Parents also prefer to ignore the issue as long as their child is happy and well-adjusted.
"We see a lot of moms and dads who say they want their kids to be happy, they don't want them to be teased, they want them to be able to keep up with the other kids," said Dr. Geoff Ball, a professor of pediatrics at the University of Alberta and director of the Pediatric Center for Weight and Health at the Stollery Children's Hospital. "If those things have not happened or if families haven't been tuned in on those things, when a doc says, 'Your kid is obese and you need to do something about it,' that might not even register because nothing negative has happened in the functional realm yet."
The study appears in Child Health, the journal of the Canadian Pediatric Society.
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