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MERRY CHRISTMAS – PASS THE STUFFING

December 25, 2007 Leave a comment Go to comments

Study: Many parents of fat kids in denial

43 percent told researchers their obese child was ‘about the right weight’
The Associated Press
updated 12:08 a.m. ET, Tues., Dec. 25, 2007

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.”

Awareness grows with child’s age
For those with an obese child ages 12 to 17, the survey found more awareness that weight was a problem. Fifty-six percent said their child was “slightly overweight,” 31 percent responded “very overweight,” 11 percent said “about the right weight” and others said “slightly underweight.”

Dr. Goutham Rao, clinical director of the Weight Management and Wellness Center at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh, said obesity in children isn’t as easy to identify as in adults. “Plus, because of the social stigma, it’s not something that parents are willing to admit to readily,” Rao said.

The survey of 2,060 adults, conducted over the summer by Internet research firm Knowledge Networks, collected height and weight measurements on the children from their parents, then used that to calculate body mass index.

When a child’s BMI was higher than the 95th percentile for children who are the same age and gender, the child was considered obese.

AP is messing with my christmas dinner. Unfortunately, even with all the sensationalist tactics they tend to exploit through headlines, this one might just be true. Merry Christmas all!

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