Do we as parents recognise when our children are overweight?

I study I read recently suggests not. The study in the journal Pediatrics commenting that parents of children today are "significantly less likely to make an accurate assessment of their children's weight compared with parents from an earlier generation." Meaning that as parents we're not recognizing if our kids are overweight, and if we're not recognizing if our children are overweight, then we also won't take actions to change the situation.

The Ministry of Health suggests the height weight charts (you're probably familiar with them from plunket visits) to assess normal weight ranges. Children from the 85-95th percentile are considered overweight and obese if over the 95th percentile. If you're like me, you're now wanting to dive into the charts to check on your kids, here's the links to make it easier for you:

0-5 years 

Girls to 18 years

Boys to 18 years

This is such a complex issue and as the general population increases in weight, so our perception of "normal" weight changes. But there is no question that childhood obesity is increasing and is a dangerous trend for future generations. 

There are so many factors that come into play as to why our kids are getting heavier. Despite more kids being enrolled in organised sports, rates of diabetes in under 12's are increasing. Our lifestyle has obviously changed in the last generation or two and the evidence is showing us that kids need more unstructured time playing outside and less screen time.

I know as a family we struggle with getting the right balance of where time is spent, juggling homework, other interests and how we relax. Providing a healthy diet can also be challenging, especially with the freedom of pocket money. But let's keep making the best choices for our kids and make the improvements that are needed.

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