Child obesity can be a taboo subject

Child obesity can be a taboo subject

(Medical Xpress)—Both doctors and parents are reluctant about raising the issue of childhood obesity, according to a new study.

Despite most GPs recognising it as a potential health burden, 40 per cent of a small group surveyed said they struggled to raise the issue with and 70 per cent said they raised the topic once the child had left the room, the study published in the journal Obesity Research & Clinical Practice found.

Some GPs indicated they had difficulty raising the topic for various reasons including the sensitivity of the topic, the possibility of conflict or that the chat could trigger other health issues, such as an eating disorder or depression.

Dr Kay Jones, from Monash University's Department of General Practice, said health care professionals might need guidance in tackling the ever-growing public issue, especially when parents could not see there was one.

" has a high risk of becoming a chronic disease requiring life-long weight management," Dr Jones said.

"Generally, all acknowledged that childhood obesity is a sensitive issue with both GPs and parents preferring the other to raise the topic.

"Supporting GPs through education programs, updating medical software and recognition of obesity as a chronic disease by the Federal Government would assist GPs to work with families GPs to improve the assessment, management and treatment of childhood obesity in general practice."

One parent surveyed felt the topic "was fairly sensitive, but appreciated when the GP did bring it up".

Generally frustrations expressed by GPs and families were around issues outside their control, such as government and school policy, lack of resources, unhealthy product advertising and parents giving in to the child's demands.

The study also found that the absence of BMI charts in medical software exacerbated the issue.

More information: www.sciencedirect.com/science/… ii/S1871403X13000136

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Parents' views sought on childhood obesity risk

Dec 05, 2011

A new website has been launched to help raise awareness of work being done in the East Midlands region of the UK to tackle childhood obesity and to seek the views of parents and healthcare professionals.

When does obesity become a child protection issue?

Jul 16, 2010

Childhood obesity alone is not a child protection concern, nor is failure to control weight. But consistent failure to change lifestyle and engage with outside support indicates neglect, particularly in younger children, ...

Recommended for you

Gut bacteria promote obesity in mice

3 hours ago

A species of gut bacteria called Clostridium ramosum, coupled with a high-fat diet, may cause animals to gain weight. The work is published this week in mBio, the online open-access journal of the American Society for Microbiol ...

An apple a day could keep obesity away

13 hours ago

Scientists at Washington State University have concluded that nondigestible compounds in apples – specifically, Granny Smith apples – may help prevent disorders associated with obesity. The study, thought ...

Boosting purchasing power to lower obesity rates

Sep 25, 2014

In January, as one of the first major initiatives of the Academic Vision, the Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity will move to UConn from Yale University. The move will allow Rudd faculty to expand their work and build ...

Note to young men: Fat doesn't pay

Sep 23, 2014

Men who are already obese as teenagers could grow up to earn up to 18 percent less than their peers of normal weight. So says Petter Lundborg of Lund University, Paul Nystedt of Jönköping University and ...

Waistlines of US adults continue to increase

Sep 16, 2014

The prevalence of abdominal obesity and average waist circumference increased among U.S. adults from 1999 to 2012, according to a study in the September 17 issue of JAMA.

User comments