A new analysis of national survey data finds that less than one-quarter of parents of overweight children recall ever being told by a doctor or other health care provider that their children were overweight.
And although that percentage has increased over the last 10 years, more improvement is needed, said Eliana M. Perrin, MD, MPH, associate professor in the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine, pediatrician at North Carolina Children's Hospital, and lead author of the study.
- Parents might be more motivated to follow healthy eating and activity advice if they knew their children were overweight, but very few parents of overweight children say they have ever heard that from their doctor, Perrin said.
- As health care providers, it's our job to screen for overweight and obesity and communicate those screening results in sensitive ways, and we are clearly either not doing it or not doing it in a way that families can hear or remember. While we've done better in recent years, clearly there's more work to be done.
The study was published online ahead of print on Dec. 5, 2011, in the journal Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine.
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