Childhood Obesity: Are Parents Guilty?
Parents, beware. A new study has revealed a simple explanation for increasing cases of childhood obesity in recent years. It turns out, parents are serving children more food than they should have on their plate. In fact, servings have been so hefty, it almost equals to that of an adult.Advertisement
In the United Kingdom, it is believed that as much as a third of children ages 10 to 11 years old are suffering from obesity. Moreover, a fifth of kids ages four to five are said to be overweight, or worse, obese. This is because most of the foods in children’s daily diets today are high in sugar, and at times, low in a number of critical micronutrients including calcium, potassium, iron, folate and iodine.
In response to this, the Infant & Toddler Forum recently said that it supports the call for an action group to be organized to help combat increasing cases of childhood obesity. Alarmingly, nearly one in ten of children starting school in the UK are said to be obese. From 2013 to 2014, the number amounted to more than 60,000 children.
Simply put, supersizing meals for kids is a bad thing. However, the Infant & Toddler Forum recently confirmed that this is what about 1,000 UK moms and dads have been doing for some time now. In fact, about 79 percent of them admitted to giving bigger portions than the recommended serving size to their pre-schoolers, especially when the meal features favorites such as chicken nuggets, spaghetti bolognaise and other treats.
At the same time, the survey also found that 36 percent of these parents use food or drink to pacify their children when they are upset or fussy. Interestingly, 73 percent of these parents also believe that their children are not eating enough, while only 25 percent of them are concerned that their children may become obese.
One thing is clear: parents need to be more informed when it comes to serving sizes, so the forum decided to create some visual guides here. Meanwhile Judy More, a pediatric dietician who is also a member of the Infant and Toddler Forum said, “How much toddlers eat varies widely from day to day and meal to meal, so parents and carers shouldn’t worry if some days their toddler eats less than on other days.”