The growing problem of obesity among children has been again brought to the forefront of the public’s mind thanks to a recent study compiled by Safefood entitled – “Bodyweight Perceptions on the Island of Ireland”. Findings suggest that many parent are still looking the other way when it comes to weight issues with their children.
It is thought that obesity levels among children have as much as tripled over the last twenty years while experts estimate a worldwide figure of around forty three million obese children under five.
The results showed that over half of the parents of overweight primary school kids considered their children to be of normal weight while the figure reached seventy five percent for parents of teenagers. Predictably the findings also revealed that adults themselves are unaware or perhaps in denial when it comes to their own weight issues
Dr Cliodhna Foley-Nolan of Safefood believes that the first step everyone must take is to be realistic and knowledgeable when it comes to what exactly is a healthy weight. Only then can positive action be taken. She called for regular weight testing among children as it would help prevent some of the stigma attached to the problem.