Are Parents Botching Kids' Weight Loss?

New research claims that parents of overweight kids are all talk and no action when it comes to getting their children healthy. More from WebMD:
Minneapolis-based researchers have found that parents need to "talk less and do more" when encouraging their kids to become fit and trim. Dianne Neumark-Sztainer, PhD, MPH, RD, of the division of epidemiology and community health at the University of Minnesota, and colleagues found that parents who correctly recognized that their child had a weight problem talked with their kids about dieting, but this was not helpful.

Previous studies have suggested that parents do not correctly recognize if their child is overweight. Furthermore, little research has been done to determine how parents act when they correctly perceive their child's weight status.

Neumark-Sztainer's team explored whether parents of overweight teens who correctly recognized their child's weight status engaged in behaviors that helped their child's long-term weight management.
I’m no expert—or a parent for that matter—but I’d imagine, like everything else, its all about setting an example. I think Dr. Fuhrman would agree:
No rules only for children. If the parents are not willing to follow the rules set for the house, they should not be imposed on the children…Setting an example supported by both parents is the most important and most effective way for your children to develop a healthy attitude toward food.
Plus, parents and children getting healthy together has to be a great bonding experience—right?
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Comments (5) Read through and enter the discussion with the form at the end
Alex Baran - June 6, 2008 10:00 AM

The child's life can be more active if the mother is more active during pregnancy and both parents have an increased physical activity in their early lives, according to a new study.

Researchers studied the physical activity of almost 5.500 children with ages between eleven and twelve years who were already involved in the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC). For a week, each participant had to wear an accelerometer. This device recorded the intensity and frequency of the child`s physical activity during the whole day. I read about this at

Kirsten - June 6, 2008 10:41 AM

A great place to start is getting kids walking and biking to school again. Kids need the daily 30 minutes of moderate exercise that adults need PLUS 20 minutes of vigorous exercise several days a week. A 30 minute walk to a from school each day would take care of a lot of that!
There are lots of ways to address the safety and security concerns--to see what's happening in your area, look to
Let's get our kids active and healthy!

Foodaroo - June 7, 2008 12:14 AM

Parents need to ditch the video games and encourage kids to play outdoors.

Drug Rehab Facility - July 30, 2008 5:41 PM

Parents are the main cause of getting fat of these children. The more they are trying to do them good the more they do bad. Maybe there should be created some special programs to teach them how to raise their children.

Jayna - April 12, 2011 1:53 PM

gVrpKk Good point. I hadn't thought about it quite that way. :)

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