Simple interventions up parental accuracy of kids’ weight

July 13th, 2010 - 2:45 pm ICT by ANI  

Washington, July 12 (ANI): In a new study, some simple interventions helped change a parent’s perspective about a child’s being overweight or obese, and change the parent’s behaviors at home to reduce those risks.

According to a study performed in North Carolina Children’s Hospital, researchers confirmed previous reports that parents of overweight or obese children do not recognize their child’s weight problem.

But this time the researchers found the solutions for several problems by equipping paediatricians with a toolkit, an easily used chart and a series of questions and suggestions.

“Doctors often don’t have time to discuss overweight; they don’t have the tools to do it; and many aren’t confident that they’re going to make a difference in their patients’ lives,” Eliana Perrin, assistant professor of paediatrics at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine and lead author of the study, said.

“Also, parents don’t recognize weight problems or don’t know how to make things better, and even if they do, there are often barriers to healthier eating or more activity for these families,” Perrin added.

Perrin’s study is the first proof that a parent’s assessment of their child’s weight can be changed. Her study also depicted improved dietary behaviours in children and reduced time playing video games or watching television, called ’screen time’.

“We found something we can do to help stem the obesity epidemic,” Perrin said.

Perrin’s previous research in childhood obesity has showed that using a body mass index, or BMI, chart color-coded like a traffic light helps parents understand the often-confounding measurement.

Researchers enrolled 115 children ages 4 to 12 who were covered by Medicaid or the State Health Insurance Program and repeated the Starting the Conversation questionnaire as well as questions about weight status at one-month and three-month follow-up appointments.

The study was published in the July-August issue of Academic Pediatrics. (ANI)

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