Baby Fat Or Childhood Obesity?

The first Lady’s public declaration about being worried about the weight of her daughters and the consequent lifestyle modifications that were put in place has brought to the forefront issues about obesity among children.

This article speaks about how the dangers can sometimes emanate from the parents themselves, who do not think of their children as obese.

It is a familiar scenario, where the parents will indulgently call the child cute or chubby or just having some ‘baby fat’.

This is borne out by a study conducted on obese children: only one third of the parents were worried about their child’s weight; only half were even aware that their child was overweight. Only about a third of the parents were planning to do anything about getting their child’s weight in control. There are several reasons for this skewed perception:

  • Parents could be in denial
  • They could dismiss it as ‘baby fat’
  • Obesity among children is so common these days that an overweight child does not stand out as much
  • “big-boned,” “chunky,” and “solid” are some of the often used euphemisms to explain away childhood obesity