A survey of 860 paediatricians in Canada shows that the problem of child obesity continues to get worse because parents refuse to see that their children have a problem. The study revealed that parents acted defensively when the subject of their child’s weight was broached, whilst showing very little interest in helping their child to lose excess weight.
Although this survey was carried out in 2005 and 2006, the results have only just been published, with doctors agreeing that the problems have increased since that time. The majority of doctors agree that child obesity is a very important issue but of the 860 doctors in the study, only 20 percent thought they were successful in managing the problem.
The doctors did not consider how ill prepared they were in terms of the attitudes of parents and available resources. The number of teenage boys who are classed as overweight or obese has risen from 14 percent to 31 percent, more than doubling since 1981. Girls who are classified as overweight or obese has risen from 14 to 25 percent in the same period.
There are many long term health problems associated with obesity and it is estimated that most of the obese children will go on to become obese adults with serious health problems.
Meizi He, lead author of the study which was published in Paediatrics and Child Health, believes that parents are not aware of their child’s weight problems, refusing to take responsibility. Parents have a duty to raise healthy children but have temptation in the form of junk food commercials, video games and more. He also believes that parents and obese children are victims of this change in society.