Saturday 3 December 2016

Irish Parent are underestimating obese children's weight

Published 07/06/2016 | 02:30

One in four children are overweight or obese
One in four children are overweight or obese

More than eight in 10 parents of overweight or obese children underestimate their size.

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A study presented at the European Obesity Summit looked at how parents perceive the weight of their overweight children.

Parents of 2,845 children aged five to six years received a questionnaire and were asked to score their perception of their child's weight on a five-point scale, ranging from 'too light' to 'too heavy'.

Read more: How to broach the subject of weight with your children

Children's height and weight were measured during their routine visit to youth healthcare clinics. Parents and siblings' height and weight were self-reported.

In total, 2,203 (77.4pc) children were included in the analysis. A total of 14.5pc of children were overweight and 3.3pc obese.

Some 82pc of parents underestimated their child's weight. The prevalence of overweight in children is rising, with one in four children overweight or obese.

Being overweight in childhood is a risk factor for diseases in adulthood.

To prevent and treat children who are overweight, it is important that parents recognise the weight status of their children.

Parents from families with more than 50pc overweight members, including parents and siblings, underestimated their overweight and obese children more, the study found.

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