A study published in the August 25 issue of Pediatrics shows that most parents view their overweight children as healthy size, basing their judgments on the condition that another child is more overweight than their own. The survey was conducted by researchers from Georgia Southern State University between 2005 and 2008. By examining the data provided by the parents of overweight children (mostly mothers), researchers concluded that parents view their children’s weight base on the relative weight of their peers. The majority of parents who expressed this view were from families of lower incomes.
This is a dangerous perception for parents to maintain as it allows obesity to become a norm as the population continues to gain weight.
We rarely compare our weight status against an absolute scale or a number recommended by doctors,” study author Dr. Jian Zhang told TIME, “Instead, we compare to what our friends, neighbors and coworkers look like. If we look like most of the others, we of course perceive that we are just fine.”
It is especially dangerous for parents to hold this view as it is in the home where there is the most potential for nutrition to be taught. If these parents are basing the health of their child on relative terms, weight and subsequent health conditions will continue to plague their children. Public schools have gotten on board to teach nutrition, why shouldn’t parents?
Read more here- “Overweight Children? Not According to Parents, Study Shows,” (Julia S., HNGN)
Olivia is a graduate of Villanova University where she studied Economics and History, minoring in Gender and Women's Studies. She also has experience working with federal legislatures on health care policy, women's issues, and Internet safety.