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Very Few Parents Say Doctors Told Them Their Child Had A Weight Problem

December 5, 2011: 12:00 AM EST
Doctors and other healthcare providers need to do a better job of informing parents when their children are overweight or obese, according to U.S. researchers who found  that fewer than 25 percent of parents recalled being told their kids had a weight problem. The researchers analyzed data collected between 1999 and 2008 from 4,985 children ages 2 to 15 years old who had an abnormal body mass index. Only 22 percent of parents said a health professional had told them their child was overweight. The percentage increased from 19.4 percent in 1999 to 29.1 percent in 2007-2008. Only 58 percent of parents of very obese children recall a doctor telling them. "Parents might be more motivated to follow healthy eating and activity advice if they knew their children were overweight,” researchers said.
Eliana M. Perrin et al., "Parental Recall of Doctor Communication of Weight Status: National Trends From 1999 Through 2008", Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, December 05, 2011, © American Medical Association
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