Monday, August 21, 2006

Survey: Parents Think Their Child Is Normal Weight But Other Kids Need Help

"My Susie, you're looking so thin these days unlike your friends."

You've heard the saying denial is not just a river in Egypt, right? Well, somebody needs to explain to parents in Canada the definition of that word in light of this Ottawa Sun story about a new survey showing parents there think their children don't have weight problems when they do.

The Canadian Medical Association (CMA) released a report of their survey findings that showed most parents graded their own children higher for being healthy and at their ideal weight than other kids. And the gap between the two was huge.

Although a miniscule 6 percent of the parents surveyed gave the overall health of children in Canada an A, a whopping 40 percent said their own child's performance with a healthy diet and exercise was worthy of an A while only a tiny 9 percent of parents actually admitted their child is overweight.

"I have a very real fear we are killing our children with kindness," CMA president Dr. Ruth Collins-Nakai said.

This flies directly in the face of the actual statistics which shows over one-fourth of Canadian children under the age of 18 are overweight or obese.

Are parents as in denial about their children's weight problem as they are regarding their own weight problem? It certainly appears that way, although my low-carb blogging friend Regina Wilshire recently blogged that people probably genuinely think they are eating healthy because they are following the high-carb government diet recommendations. Regardless, both the parents and the children are fat and they can't seem to grasp the severity of the problem if they refuse to admit there is one to begin with.

Nevertheless, parents are strongly in favor of programs to help kids get into shape in Canada.

"The majority of those asked supported initiatives designed to improve health, diet and physical activity of Canadian children," Collins-Nakai said.

So, other people's kids have a problem living a healthy lifestyle, but not my child. Susie is the example of health for all of her peers to follow. Sure, we have to buy her plus-sized clothes and she has trouble walking from the parking lot to the front door at the mall without getting winded, but she's healthy as a horse! Yeah, she's real healthy, just look at that husky body of hers.

Oi! I still contend we are in denial. No, we don't all need to look like ultrathin supermodels, but weighing too much is NOT healthy at all. And deep down inside you know if you weigh too much or not. Don't try to cover up the truth because lying to yourself will not make obesity go away. Admit there is a problem and then DO SOMETHING about it! Don't delay, get started right away! Livin' la vida low-carb is a proven, effective plan of action that works pretty well even if I do say so myself. :D


Blogger LCforevah said...

The parents are lying to themselves about their own responsibility in the matter. If a parent were to say, yes, I understand that my child is obese, he would have to assess his own diet and the meals he presents to his children. By not looking at the child, parents don't have to look at themselves.

My own situation growing up was slightly different. Both my parents were always slim and physically fit as they came from another culture where they walked everywhere and ate non american food during their own upbringing.

My problem didn't begin until puberty, where the change from skinny to plump felt fairly instantaneous. Knowing what I know now, I realize that I was already carb intolerant. My siblings were eating the same things and they didn't have the same problem. My mother, who was a great cook, would prepare wonderful meals from stratch that were "balanced". Growing up, we rarely went out because her culture considered it irresponsible--she could trust her own cooking, and why pay for someone else's. Her constant, constant nagging about portion control and willpower I now know could not apply to me since one small serving of pasta went directly to my hips regardless of whatever else was served.

Looking back, I was only 117 lbs at 17 years old and I would give anything to be like that again, it's just that at 5'2", it was still too much to look slim, and it upset my mother. I admire her conscientiousness, it's too bad that the right information about carbs wasn't mainstream. Atkins came out later, but my mother would not have trusted something that untried.

8/22/2006 3:11 PM  
Blogger Rob said...

Interesting post, although I think you're trying to have it both ways. Individually you post that the BMI index is bogus and whether your body should really be classified as "obese" and questioning whether the use of the term is accurate, but when it comes to others we're quick to be judgmental, jump on the bandwagon and say the parents are in denial.

How many of these kids are deemed overweight based on those same questionable markers like the BMI? The article notes that 26% of children are overweight or obese, but are they the same victims of bogus charts and graphs?

I'm not really taking a position per se, just pointing out a contradiction as I see it.

The Zero Carb Daily

8/22/2006 6:24 PM  
Blogger Rob said...

One other note, and maybe I'm missing something here, but wouldn't a little extra body fat on children be a good thing? If we were living outside in the natural climate or in minimal shelter, that a child with extra body fat would have a better change of survival than a skinny child during the winter or harsh weather months.

Just sayin'....

8/22/2006 6:28 PM  
Blogger Jimmy Moore said...

Interesting point regarding my apparent contradiction, Rob. But here's the difference: parents should lean on the side of "yes, my kid needs to be healthy" rather than defending their current state of health.

The sad truth is that most of the parents are the REASON why their kids are overweight or obese, BMI or whatever, and they feel guilty about it. So, they're gonna say their kid is fine when in fact he or she is not.

My proof of this theory is the fact that so many parents said OTHER kids had problems, but not theirs.

Good conversation!

8/22/2006 6:48 PM  
Blogger Rob said...

There is really no such proof. Is see this as just another hysterical hit piece most likely in favor of the low-fat hype.

Think about it. They're asking two different questions. What is the OVERALL health vs their own grade. I can easily see how, on the whole, you may give a lower grade to the OVERALL health of the country but not to what you do individually. There would have to be some pretty remarkable health markers to give the entire country an A. This isn't denial, just common sense.

As far as that 9% as more proof of denial, I'll go to your previous posts about the BMI and the classification of obese. I would bet you that these 9% are parents of morbidly obese kids. The other 17% are not in denial, this could very well be a case where the child may be classified as obese but doesn't look like it to their parents.

I don't think it's denial as it is acculturation. What were taught to eat by our mommies stays with us for the rest of our life unless we make a conscious effort at all times, which is why it's so difficult for people to remain on a low-carb diet. That and the constant intake of glucose no matter what the form, slows and impairs weight loss and never breaks the string of carb cravings.

The Zero Carb Daily

8/23/2006 2:03 PM  

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