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Childhood obesity, are mothers to blame?

Obesit-infantile

According to an Italian study carried out by researchers at the University of Padua, led by Professor Dario Gregori who works in biostatistics, epidemiology and public health, it is believed that love can somehow affect how parents, particularly mothers, view their child. The analysis on childhood obesity was published in the international journal
“Obesity,
under the title “Does love really make mothers blind? A large transcontinental study on mothers’ awareness about their children’s weight“.

The main objective of the study carried out by Prof. Gregori was to analyze the maternal misperception rate (i.e., the mother’s perception of her child being overweight or underweight). The study looked at 2720 children, ranging in age from 3 to 11 years, of both sexes and from 10 countries (Argentina, Brazil, Chile, France, Mexico, Germany, Italy, the United Kingdom, India and Georgia).
According to the various data, as many as 774 of the 2720 children were found to be obese or overweight, with the largest proportion in India (337 cases, 49%). In other countries, however, the situation is to be monitored, as there are many cases in Latin America, such as in Brazil (124), Chile (54), and Argentina (45). Italy, on the other hand, remains in line with the various European nations, where the proportion of overweight or obese children is 30 out of 774, or 4 percent.

Childhood obesity is a phenomenon that needs to be controlled, as Professor Gregori explains, “The proportion of overweight/obese children incorrectly perceived as such by their mothers appears to be very high. Almost all of the overweight children (89%), and half of the obese children (52%) were not perceived as such by their mothers. Stratified analysis by nation shows slight variability among the countries considered in the study. Italy represents one of the countries with the highest proportion of misperception, i.e., 80 percent of overweight/obese children, or 24 out of 30 children, were perceived by their mothers as normal weight“.

These data alarmed Prof. Gregori in no small part, who emphasized that there is a need for public health policies to fight the problem of childhood obesity, especially on parental awareness of their child’s fitness.

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