A worrying number of parents of overweight children think that their youngsters are a healthy weight, a new survey has found.
Figures uncovered from a Health Survey for England study published last month by NHS Digital, reveal that parents are struggling to pick up signs that their children are putting on weight.
Such findings are now raising fears that high levels obesity are normalising unhealthy weights.
Similarly, nearly 40 percent of mums with obese children, aged between four and 15, were also in denial about their child’s size, The Sun reports.The report into children’s health found that 85 percent of dads thought their children were of a healthy weight, despite 52 percent having obese kids.
The survey also found that obesity among children aged two to 15 was most common in the fifth of households with the lowest incomes.
“The problem lies with parents being overweight themselves – it becomes the new ‘normal’,” said Tam Fry, chair of the National Obesity Forum.
“Parents also think their children’s weight isn’t obese as their friends are also in the same category and they don’t pick up changes.”
However, these findings are just the latest to support growing evidence that parents are struggling to recognise obesity in their children.
The research involved a review of 69 existing studies worldwide between 1990 and 2012, of more than 15000 children aged two to 18. Previously a study at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in the US found that half of parents with an overweight child were in denial about their child’s size – thinking they are slimmer than they actually are.
It found 51 percent of parents with overweight or obese children underestimated their child’s size.