Sunday, September 14, 2008

Bullying Top Concern among Parents with Obese Child

According to the latest report, bullying is the top "health" concern among parents with obese and overweight children.

According to a report that released Monday by the University of Michigan C.S. Mott Children's Hospital National Poll on Children's Health, parents of these children, aged 6 to 13, also are much more likely than parents of children at a healthy weight to call bullying a top health issue for kids.

Dr. Matthew M. Davis, director of the National Poll on Children's Health, said in a university news release, "We found that parents with overweight or obese children actually view bullying as a greater problem than childhood obesity." He stated, since bullying is known to be a trouble for children with increased weight, bullying prevention programs will need to be mindful of obesity as a potential trigger for bullying behavior and of parents concerns surrounding this issue.

Overall, parents do not take childhood obesity lightly, ranking it the first among health concern for kids in the National Poll on Children's Health. The poll found, only two-thirds of parents actually enforce such limits with their children on junk food and time spent in front of a TV or computer screen. Still, many parents are talking with their children about increasing their physical activity and having healthier diets, which Davis said is a crucial first step in setting the stage for a healthier lifestyle.

Nearly two in five of the families polled included one or more obese or overweight child between the ages of 6 and 13. The poll also showed that children, who were overweight or obese, were almost twice as likely to have an obese parent as healthy weight children. According to Davis, an associate professor of general pediatrics and internal medicine at the U-M Medical School, in many families, obesity is a two-generation phenomenon among parents and their children. This trend could be the result of behaviors or genetics such as physical activity and eating habits that are shared among parents and their children.

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