When researchers recently looked at data on how parents perceive their overweight young children, they learned that 94.9 percent believe the kids’ size to be “just right.” As startling and unsettling as that statistic may be, it had been shown before in smaller populations and wasn’t the worst news out of the study.
More disturbing was what the researchers found when they compared the results with the same survey taken about two decades earlier. Over the years, they realized, the chances of a child “being appropriately perceived by the parents declined by 30 percent.” African American and low-income parents had the most inaccurate perceptions.
“We have changed our perceptions of what our weight ideals are,” even among kids aged 2 to 5, who were the subjects of this study, said Dustin T. Duncan, an assistant professor in the Department of Population Health atNYU Langone Medical Center, who led the research. Most parents can no longer tell what a healthy weight looks like, and their doctors aren’t helping them understand, Duncan said.
“If every other child is obese or overweight, you would think your child” is normal as well, he added. (The study also showed that 78.4 percent of parents of obese children believed them to be “just right,” but it made no comparison to earlier data for that group.) Instead of focusing on small groups of overweight or obese kids as other studies have, Duncan’s research used a national sample of children and parents surveyed for the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey between 1988 and 1994, and others questioned for the same survey between 2007 and 2012. Both samples had more than 3,000 children.
Parents were asked the “Goldilocks” question: “Do you consider [child’s name] to be: overweight, underweight, just about the right weight, or don’t know?” Researchers compared those responses with the children’s data on standard childhood growth curves.
With parental attitudes quite similar in both surveys and more overweight children in the population today, the chances of any child being seen correctly had declined sharply, according to the study, which was published online in the June edition of the journal Childhood Obesity.
The study contains a number of lessons, none of them pleasant. First, while some research has shown a possible plateau in the childhood obesity stats, the problem isn’t going away anytime soon. Duncan focused on 2- to 5-year-olds because that’s the age when poor eating habits can take root.
Thieves steal palm trees
Captain Ashok Sunker of Toti SAPS and ward 97 councillor, Andre Beetge appeal to anyone with information regarding the theft of the palm trees in Isundu Drive to come forward.
Six palm trees recently planted to enhance Isundu Drive, opposite the skateboard park, have been stolen, much to the disgust of ward 97 councillor, Andre Beetge and the parks department.
“We are very disappointed,” said Cllr Beetge. “The trees were only secured from the municipal nursery following a long wait for the required size and species.
The parks department staff do not live in the area, so it took us a while to get them to buy into the idea of aesthetically enhancing the area.”
According to the councillor, three of the 1m to 1.2m trees were removed on Saturday night, followed by two on Sunday night and the last one on Monday night, 11 May.
“When I saw the supervisor at the site, he had tears in his eyes. This has demoralised the team, who worked hard to make the area more beautiful. I have spoken to the police, who informed me of a test case where someone received a three-year jail sentence after he stole plants from the vicinity of the Toti sign some years ago.
This is a serious offence. We will catch the perpetrator and prosecute them to the full extent of the law.
If anyone has any information about the stolen trees, saw anything or has visited someone with six new, beautiful palm trees in their garden, contact me on 082-718-8137, so that the law may follow its course.”
Youth spits on mother
A 17-year-old youth, who spat on his mother three times during an argument on Mother’s Day, faces a number of charges after also hurling death threats and racial slurs at city police officers.
The teen is charged with mischief under $5,000, assault, assault with intent to resist arrest, assaulting a peace officer, uttering threats and two counts of breach of probation. He was held in custody for a bail hearing.
Police said they received a 911 call at about 1:30 p.m. Sunday from neighbours who heard a dispute between a mother and her son. Police said that the youth, in a fit of temper, spat on his mother at least three times and damaged a wall of their home by kicking it.
When approached by police, the youth ran off and short foot chase ensued. An officer caught the youth and took him to the ground to handcuff him.
The youth resisted arrest, spat on an officer and threatened to buy a gun and kill another officer. He also threatened to slit the throat of an officer once he is released from custody.
Several officers were needed to place the accused into a cruiser, where his aggression continued as he began to kick at the doors.
At the police station, the youth refused to exit the cruiser and repeatedly yelled racial slurs at the officer in charge.
Boy on rampage over video game player
A 13-year-old boy went on a rampage with a hammer and baseball bat at his home Saturday evening after a video game system was taken away from him for prior bad behaviour.
He is charged with mischief under $5,000 and possession of a weapon for a dangerous purpose. He was held in custody for a bail hearing.
Police said that boy’s father called 911 at about 7:15 p.m. to report that his son was out of control.
He was locked out of the house by his parents who feared for their safety. He was trying to regain entry to the home by smashing doors and locks.
Officers arrested the boy without incident.
Police said that the boy had argued with his parents and a sibling about the use of a Playstation 4 gaming system, which had been removed by the boy’s father as punishment.
The boy became irate and used a baseball bat to smash property.Post published in: World News