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News

Don't downplay childhood obesity

Duke University Pratt School Of Engineering : 07 January, 2007  (Technical Article)
Recent studies suggest that many parents are ignoring the health risks confronting their overweight children. Some view it as a passing phase or cosmetic problem, while others fear doing psychological harm by calling attention to a child's weight.
Recent studies suggest that many parents are ignoring the health risks confronting their overweight children. Some view it as a passing phase or cosmetic problem, while others fear doing psychological harm by calling attention to a child's weight.

Most parents are aware of America’s childhood obesity epidemic, but research indicates that many moms and dads don’t recognize the problem in their own kids. Gerald Endress, clinical exercise physiologist and coordinator of the youth program at the Duke Diet and Fitness Center, says there may be several reasons why parents ignore this serious medical condition. “In America we have this feeling that it’s more the norm to be overweight now. It’s important to see that sizes for kids have increased just as much as for adults. It’s more acceptable to see kids that are overweight.” Endress says some parents may feel they are doing psychological harm by pressuring their child to lose weight, or they may think there’s no problem if a child is overweight but not obese. Some use terms like ‘chubby’ or ‘baby fat’ and expect the child will ‘grow out of it.’ “And, yes, some are uncomfortable with their own body weight, that they’re overweight themselves. Sometimes I think it may be comforting to have someone else in their family who is overweight and who’s struggling with the same things they are.” I’m Cabell Smith for MedMinute.
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