Recent obesity research shows that only about 22% of parents with overweight children said that their health care provider mentioned this fact to them.
No one is sure why a health care provider would not mention let alone discuss a child's being overweight – but it's possible that we have become rather oblivious to the weight gain around us.
Maybe the parents had selective hearing or memory, as this was a “do you recall” kind of study. If a parent does not think of their child as overweight – they just may not “hear” what the health care provider said – or they heard it and shrugged it off after leaving the office.
We seem to have adapted to a new norm of “acceptable” weight – even when all the research shows that this gain is bad for our health – and especially the health of our children.
In my book, It’s Not Always Baby Fat, I wrote:
At present, according to Former Surgeon General Richard Carmona, we may be seeing the first generation of children that will have a shorter life expectancy than their parents!!
What is shortening the life expectancy of these obese children?
They have high blood pressure and elevated blood cholesterol levels which are early indicators for cardiovascular disease and they are also developing diabetes. These are medical issues that had previously been seen in adult populations.
And it’s not just bad physical effects that come from obesity; there are psychological effects as well.
Obese children have lower self-esteem, negative body image and are prone to depression.
Low self-esteem and depression? These can be debilitating on their own but add in obesity and you have a double-whammy-plus of potential medical and emotional issues!
Parents – for the health of your children please ask your health care provider if your child’s weight is too much. Do not wait for the health care person to ask you about it – be proactive and see what you can do to get or stay healthier.