Parents Do Not Realize Their Children are Overweight or Obese
Written by Dr. Andrea Maxim, Naturopathic Doctor
Analysis of American data from 1971 to 2008 showed that the average weight of children from the ages of 2 to 19 has increased 16.9%. If the trends continue we could see 21% of these children becoming obese, not just overweight. In Canada, the obesity rates have tripled over the last 25 years and current estimates state that 34% of children from the age of 2 to 17 are now overweight or obese. Obesity now accounts for 17% of health-care costs in Canada coming second to the top expense, hospital expenses.
European countries are not immune to this epidemic either. This 2010 Netherland study had over 800 parents of children ages 4 to 5 asking about their child’s health, specifically weight. Of all parents, 96% perceived their child to be of good or excellent health. In reality, 75% of overweight children and almost 50% of obese children were depicted of normal weight.
Parents that are overweight or obese themselves do not recognize their child as such. Also, the public perception of normal weight has shifted to a larger value making it almost okay for a person to be overweight. Children that are overweight are becoming the norm and lets not forget the age range studied here: 4 to 5 years of age! This is not acceptable. Our society is catering to the ideals of poor health, and those people who are taking health into their own hands and staying in a normal weight class are now considered “skinny”. As a society we need to wake up and quit living in denial about our health. All it takes is a little education and a few lifestyle changes and dramatic positive effects can happen!
Health interventions need to happen at early ages to prevent these stats from increasing. Dr. Maxim treats children, adults and entire families alike to help them achieve a healthy weight and a long-term therapeutic lifestyle. Do not hesitate to call for a 15min free consult and see if Naturopathic Medicine is a good fit for you.
Contact Dr. Maxim TODAY and Join the MAXIM MOVEMENT and MAXIMize your families HEALTH!
Luttikhuis et al. How do parents of 4- to 5-year-old children perceive the weight of their children? Acta Paediatrica, 2010; 99: 263-267 DOI: 10.1111/j.1651-2227.2009.01576.x
S. Kuhle, C. Fung, P. J. Veugelers. Medication use in normal weight and overweight children in a nationally representative sample of Canadian children. Archives of Disease in Childhood, 2012; 97 (9): 842 DOI:10.1136/archdischild-2011-301195
American Journal of Preventive Medicine
Wang YC, et al "Reaching the Healthy People goals for reducing childhood obesity: closing the energy gap" Am J Prev Med 2012; DOI: 10.1016/j.amepre.2012.01.018.