From Your Health Journal…..”An interesting article from the BCC written by Dr Pallavi Bradshaw entitled Child obesity: Who are you calling fat?. Doctors do have a hard time sometimes talking to parents who feel they are being accused of poor parenting, which is why healthcare professionals may need guidance in tackling the problem, especially when parents cannot see there is one. Most parents do not want to hear their child is overweight or obese. There are a select few, who are told are happy, yet concerned, but then act on it. Personally, I am not sure of the proper method to tell a parent about a potentially unhealthy child – what I do know, each child (and parent) is different, and reacts differently to each circumstance. But, I really encourage you to visit the BBC web site (link provided below) to read the complete article. It is a well written and informative article.”
From the article…..
Child obesity can be a taboo subject.
Doctors can struggle to talk to parents who feel they are being accused of poor parenting, which is why healthcare professionals may need guidance in tackling the problem, especially when parents cannot see there is one.
From Turkey Twizzlers to MPs suggesting a correlation between a child’s weight and their social background, obesity is a hot topic and an ever-growing public health issue.
The reality can be devastating for families with children taken into care for being obese, or suffering long-term health problems.
Children unable to lose weight as they grow older may develop chronic and life-threatening diseases such as Type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
Obesity is also a huge cost to the public purse, and experts predict that it will result in the health service paying out £6.3bn by 2015.
So how should doctors intervene?
While friends and family may be afraid to comment on a child’s physique or put the excess weight down to “puppy fat”, a doctor should not ignore tackling the issue openly with parents who may be in denial.
Studies have suggested that parents’ judgement is poor regarding weight, with 75% underestimating the size of an overweight child and 50% failing to recognise that their child is obese.
More worrying is that there are similar findings for the perceptions of healthcare professionals.
Due to changes in the delivery of health services, patients will often see different GPs or practice nurses over a period of time.
This has eroded the unique relationship once had with the family doctor and can mean that GPs feel reluctant to raise sensitive issues during a one-off consultation.