A typical school lunch.
Here in the United States, where upwards of 32% of all children are over their projected healthy body weights, a new poll just out indicates that many parents refuse to see it that way.
A recent USNews.com piece reveals that, although a whopping 69% of American adults are actually overweight, and about half of them fall under the 'obese' category, very few parents are worried about their own children entering adulthood on the high side of the scale.
The article centers around the recent findings of a study conducted by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the Harvard School of Public Health and NPR in which less than half of parents of overweight children ages 2-17 actually recognize them as overweight.
In other words, many parents, far too many parents, refuse to admit that their kids are fat.
As shocking as this data is, it probably comes as little surprise to most health specialists, pediatricians, researchers, and even visitors from other countries, since America's worldwide reputation as a land of ever-increasing lard is quite clearly understood by nearly everyone on earth with the exception of the ones who need to face up to it the most.
Related: 6 tips for preventing childhood obesity
Dr. Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, the president and CEO of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, one of the study's sponsors, minces few words in a press release. She writes, "We know that nearly one in three kids in America is overweight or obese, and that's a national emergency."
Of course the answers to how and why this problem continues to occur year in and year out in our country are a the focus of many studies. This particular poll's findings prove to be a very interesting peek into the minds of the parents who are responsible for steering their kids in the right direction.
Healthy diets and reasonable amounts of exercise are two things that quite a few parents find difficult to monitor for their children. And the fact that many families struggle to even find the time to eat meals together points to the fact that many kids eat the majority of their meals in the presence of neither mom nor dad.
Solving the dilemma of childhood obesity isn't easy, but studies like this one certainly shine a bunch of light on some possible starting points.
- By Serge Bielanko
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