The majority of parents are unaware their child is overweight

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Most parents of overweight children think their child is the right weight, the annual NHS health survey for England has found.


More than a quarter of children are overweight and obese, according to the NHS survey

The latest survey for 2015 shows that more than nine out of ten mothers and eight out of ten fathers described their overweight child as about the ‘right weight’. Close to half of mothers and more than 40 per cent of fathers of obese children also thought their child was at a healthy weight.

Based upon information and measurements of 5,714 children aged two to 15 and 8,034 adults, the survey finds that childhood obesity remains high with over a quarter (28 per cent) of children overweight and obese.

Children from low-income backgrounds were more likely to be obese compared with those from higher income households.

While the latest findings show the obesity rate has remained relatively stable since 2008, the NHS warns that childhood obesity remains a ‘substantial health concern’ with serious consequences for physical and mental health.

Dr Alison Tedstone, chief nutritionist at Public Health England, said, 'Parents have been misjudging their children’s weight for a number of years making addressing our current obesity crisis even more challenging.

'Tackling obesity is everyone’s responsibility, not individual parents and children. We’re working with the industry to reduce the amount of sugar in products children consume every day as part of a wider Childhood Obesity Plan to help them lead healthier lives.'

The survey also reveals that fewer than one in ten (9 per cent) children aged two to four met the current guidelines for children under five of at least three hours of physical activity per day.

Professor Neena Modi, president of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH), said, 'This latest survey provides a snapshot of the health of children in England.

'The figures on children’s physical activity gives cause for great concern. This combined with the fact that children and their parents find it hard to identify that they are overweight, makes it easy to see why the prevalence of obesity in the UK is not going down. The worrying truth is that families and society at large are simply becoming oblivious to obesity because it has become so common.'

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