MONDAY, Feb. 25 (HealthDay News) -- Many American parents fail to see that their children are overweight or obese, a new poll finds.
Only 15 percent of parents said their children are a little or very overweight, but national statistics suggest that 32 percent of kids are overweight or even obese, according to the researchers.
In addition, only 20 percent of children in the survey had a parent who was worried that his or her child will be overweight as an adult. However, an estimated 69 percent of American adults are overweight, including 36 percent who are obese and 6 percent who are extremely obese.
The poll results suggest that many parents underestimate their children's current risk for being overweight or obese, and how that risk could continue to affect them as adults, the researchers said.
The survey, conducted by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the Harvard School of Public Health and NPR, asked parents about their children, ages 2 to 17.
"We know that nearly one in three kids in America is overweight or obese, and that's a national emergency," Dr. Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, president and CEO of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, said in a foundation news release.
"Better nutrition and more physical activity can help turn this epidemic around, and parents have a unique role to play. Knowing the risks of obesity and dealing with the issue proactively can improve kids' health now and prevent serious problems down the road," she said.
Gillian SteelFisher is assistant director of the Harvard Opinion Research Program and a research scientist in the Harvard School of Public Health's Department of Health Policy and Management. She said in the news release: "People often have a hard time making the connection between national problems and their own families. Tackling these blind spots can be a difficult, even if necessary, element of public education."
Even though nearly all the parents in the
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