Many Parents Of Obese Young Children Do Not Recognize Weight Problems

Armen Hareyan's picture
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Four in ten parents of obese children ages 6 to 11 say that their kids are actually "about the right weight" and rarely report being "very concerned" about their child's heaviness, according to a new poll from the University of Michigan's C.S. Mott Children's Hospital. The survey was conducted on KnowledgePanel, the representative nationwide panel created and maintained by Knowledge Networks.

This national study on children's health found that among the parents of the 6-11 year old obese children:

-- 13% rate their child as being "very overweight"

-- Only 7% say they are "very concerned" about their child's weight

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Parents of older obese children (ages 12 to 17) seem to have somewhat greater awareness and concern about their kids' weight issues:

-- 31% of these parents say their child is "very overweight"

-- 46% report being "very concerned" about their child's weight

National studies have shown that 35% of U.S. children (ages 6 to 17) are overweight or obese; but parent reports in this latest poll are substantially lower, dropping the proportion to 25%.

Regarding the selection of Knowledge Networks as research partner, Dr. Matthew Davis, Director of the C.S. Mott Children's Hospital National Poll on Children's Health, commented, "KnowledgePanel offers us an opportunity to conduct truly national representative online surveys in real time, in a way that is very hard to accomplish with any other mode of survey today."

The survey was administered to a random sample of 2,060 adults, ages 18 and older, who are part of KnowledgePanel; about two-thirds of the sample were parents. The sampling margin of error for a 50% statistic with 95% confidence is +/-2.2 percentage points.

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