A study, which surveyed 1,043 Georgia families with children ages 11 and younger, shows that a large percentage of parents are in denial about their own children’s obesity issues.
According to the result, 42 percent of the surveyed families have overweight or obese kids. Of those families, 76 percent of the parents misclassified their children as either underweight or normal weight, the United Press International reports.
Dr. Stephanie Walsh, medical director of wellness at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, noted that many parents fear engaging in a discussion about weight and body issues with their kids more than the talks about sex and drugs.
Walsh recommends that in order for parents to effectively talk with their kids about the problem of childhood obesity, they should have an honest conversation with themselves about family health risks, as well as the habits and the kind of role models they want to be for their children.
“It’s time for parents to be stronger than the thoughts that hold them back,” Walsh said in a statement.
In the United States, childhood obesity has more than tripled in the past 30 years. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention noted that the percentage of children aged 6–11 years in the country who were obese increased from 7 percent in 1980 to nearly 20 percent in 2008. Similarly, the percentage of adolescents aged 12–19 years who were obese increased from 5 percent to 18 percent over the same period.
Children who are obese are more likely to be obese as adults , and therefore making them more vulnerable to a lot of health risks, including heart disease, type 2 diabetes, stroke, several types of cancer, and osteoarthritis.