A new research has found that parents usually misunderstand whether their child is healthy or not with respect to obesity and thus ignore the official parameters.
The research led by London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine explained that parents from deprived backgrounds underestimate their child's weight if they are Black or south Asian (v white), or if their child is male.
The research suggested that public health interventions for obesity in children was important to fill the gap between the parental perceptions and official guidelines
The team of researchers discovered that 31% of parents underestimated their healthy child whereas he was just overweight as per BMI scales.
Dr. Sanjay Kinra, senior author said that if parents were unable to accurately classify their own child's weight then they might not be willing to enact the changes to the child's environment that promote healthy weight maintenance.
Professor Russell Viner, co-author, said that measures required to decrease the gap between parental perceptions of child weight status and obesity scales used by medical professionals were much needed to help parents better understand the health risks associated with overweight and increase uptake of healthier lifestyles.
The research is published in the British Journal of General Practice.