TLN Health News Heads Up: Many parents of fat kids in denial, study finds

43 percent told researchers their obese child was ‘about the right weight’

From MSNBC.com

DETROIT - A startling number of parents may be in denial about their youngsters' weight.

A survey found that many Americans whose children are obese do not see them that way.

That is worrisome because obese children run the risk of diabetes, high blood pressure, cholesterol problems and other ailments more commonly found in adults. And overweight children are likely to grow up to be overweight adults.

"It suggests to me that parents of younger kids believe that their children will grow out of their obesity, or something will change at older ages," said Dr. Matthew M. Davis, a University of Michigan professor of pediatrics and internal medicine who led the study, released earlier this month.

"When I see a child that is obese at these younger ages, I take that as a sign of ways nutrition can be improved, a child's activity level can be improved."

Among parents with an obese, or extremely overweight, child ages 6 to 11, 43 percent said their child was "about the right weight," 37 percent responded "slightly overweight," and 13 percent said "very overweight." Others said "slightly underweight."

TLN Editor Comments: There's no denying it. More and more kids today are obese. Just take a look around the next time you are at the mall or a department store. The scene is very much like the cartoon above depicting an overweight Jetsons family. It's not mentioned in the article, but I am willing to bet that a significant percentage of parents with obese children are also obese or overweight. These parents need to open their eyes and accept the fact that their kids are not just sporting a few pounds of "babyfat". Obesity is not a fair start in life for a child. It is damaging to their health and can carry lifelong negative impact on them both socially and mentally. Parents of obese children ARE responsible for their children's actions. Denial and being irrational need to be replaced with guilt and concern. And hopefully, the latter feelings become a motivating force to make positive changes for the ENTIRE household. It's not just about the kids. It's a family affair and to be successful, everybody needs to participate in the commitment to eating better and exercising regularly.

Along with viewing this entire article, check out the editorial cartoon roundup on the "Perspective of Obesity" at MSNBC.com!

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