By Carol Hamilton
Parents want the best for their children; they want them to be good in school, athletic, artistic, and socially accepted. That desire for a child’s perfection impacts how parents perceive their child’s weight. In a recent study parents were asked if they considered their 2-5 year old children, to be overweight, underweight, or just about right. The results showed 94.5% of parents with overweight children inappropriately perceived their child as just right. Likewise, 78.4% of obese children were perceived as “just right” by their parents (Duncan, et al. 2015). Without accurate parental recognition and lifestyle changes, childhood obesity can adversely affect an individual for the remainder of their life.
Some of the most prominent health issues adults face, heart disease, cancer, stroke, and Type 2 diabetes can be linked back to childhood obesity (Brody 2016). These adverse effects can show up prior to children even reaching adulthood including high blood pressure, insulin resistance, and Type 2 diabetes. In a study conducted in Singapore, individuals who were obese as children are more likely to struggle with low self-esteem, confidence, and depression even more so than adults with onset obesity (Brody 2016). Children who are obese are also at higher risk of struggling with asthma, and excess musculoskeletal stress resulting in knee and hip pain, and difficulty walking. Unhealthy dietary and lifestyle habits formed in childhood are often carried through adulthood (Kodama 2008).
The good news is we have the ability to correct childhood obesity through dietary education and lifestyle changes. At Doctor for Life, our staff recognizes the importance of preventative healthcare practices. Whether you, your child, or your whole family want to embrace a healthy weight lifestyle, we can help. Doctor for Life has a full team dedicated to creating a doctor-guided, patient-centered program individualized to your needs. We address all aspects related to living a healthy lifestyle including nutrition, exercise, behavior, and pharmacotherapy. One of the best gifts you can give your children is a healthy lifestyle and Doctor for Life can help you do that.
Brody, Jane E. “The Urgency in Fighting Childhood Obesity.” The New York Times, 2016.
Duncan, Dustin T, Andrew R Hansen, Wang Wei, Fei Yan, and Jian Zhang. “Change in Misperception of Child’s Body Weight among Parents of American Preschool Children.” Childhood Obesity, 2015.
Kodama, Hiroko. “Dietary Habits that Protect Children from Lifestye-Related Diseases: from the perspective of dietary education.” Journal of the Japan Medical Association , 2008.