UK parents 'do not recognise their children are obese' - BBC
Recently published on the BBC News website: Parents 'do not recognise obesity in their children'
Did you know that a healthy 10-year-old's ribs should be clearly visible? Many parents would consider that such a child was quite underweight....
Another reason for the lack of knowledge may be that the media often portrays and highlights extreme cases of child obesity. Most children identified by the National Child Measurement Programme do not look obviously overweight. By comparison to the images shown of very obese children in the media, they look slim.
I think the fact that our Government's top advisor on obesity policy believes a healthy ten year-old should be skeletally thin to the point you can play a tune on their ribcage is frankly terrifying and explains much about the British obsession with fat kids, not to mention the exponential rise in body anxieties and EDs. If a concave stomach is now the criteria for avoiding being labelled 'overweight' then no wonder the rates seem so exaggerated. It doesn't give me much hope for the contents of the forthcoming Obesity White Paper, that's for sure.
There's a good point in here (which has been raised on BFB headless fatty discussions in the past) about the distorted perceptions resulting from the over-use of extreme examples to illustrate media obesity articles. However the suggestion that children who appear thin or 'normal weight' are actually obese under the criteria of the classroom weigh-in regime (and the fact that the UK uses a much stricter definition of 'obesity' than the EU, which it also applies to much younger age groups including infants) demonstrates how the criteria have been manipulated to essentially manufacture a 'problem' out of thin air.
Of course anyone who tries to counter the extremism of the obesity panic merchants with these observations is inevitably derided as a denialist and accused of disregarding the health of The Children. Any flickerings of debate about the validity of weighing children in school or the implications of labelling those who don't 'measure up' are swiftly closed down by an immensely powerful lobby whose assertions are accepted without question at the highest levels of government.
It can surely only be prejudice which prevents some of these increasingly outlandish claims being subjected to the same level of critique as (say) those of climate change, alcohol or passive smoking researchers.