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Eur J Public Health. 2006 Dec;16(6):645-7. Epub 2006 Jul 12.

Parents often do not recognize overweight in their child, regardless of their socio-demographic background.

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  • 1Municipal Health Service for Rotterdam Area, Rotterdam, The Netherlands.


To involve parents successfully in the treatment of overweight in their child, they first need to be aware of the problem and its accompanying health risks. Data on 1840 9-11 year olds from the Rotterdam Youth Health Monitor were analysed to investigate whether awareness of parents differs according to socio-demographic characteristics. In the case of overweight children, 50% of the parents do not recognize that their child is overweight. Except for age none of the investigated socio-demographic characteristics, including ethnicity and parental education, was associated with awareness. Parents of obese children show greater awareness than parents of overweight children.

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