Most weight loss regimens work best with a combination of proper diet along with a healthy exercise program. Apparently a large percentage of the parents of obese children in the U.S. only agree with half of that theory.
According to a recent study conducted by researchers at Brown University, many parents of overweight and obese children are willing to focus on their kids' diets in an effort to help them lose weight, but not on their activity levels.
"We thought about doing this study because when we worked with families to try to engage them in weight loss, we noticed differences in parent's readiness to change dietary behaviors versus physical activity behaviors," said Dr. Kyung Rhee, who led the study for Brown University in Providence, R. I. "They weren't always ready to do both -- some families were ready to do one versus the other, but when you're really trying to engage in weight loss, it's important to engage in both."
The numbers with regard to parents who were more focused on diet over exercise were substantial. Regarding dietary changes, roughly 17 percent of the parents surveyed were in the precontemplation/contemplation stage, 21 percent were in the preparation stage and 61 percent were in the action/maintenance stage.
When it came to making sure their overweight child was getting the proper amount of exercise, only 41 percent were in the action/maintenance stage. Another 41 percent of the parents in the study were in the precontemplation/contemplation stage and 18 percent were in the preparation stage
Interestingly, the study's researchers also looked at factors linked to the parents' ability and readiness to make changes. Their research here found that parents who believed their own weight was a health problem were less ready to make changes to their children's diets.
Another factor linked to the parents' readiness to make changes was found in parents that had older children, as they were less likely to be in the action/maintenance stage for physical activity.
According to the most recent statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, childhood obesity has more than doubled in children and quadrupled in adolescents in the past 30 years. The percentage of children aged 6-11 years in the United States who were obese increased from 7 percent in 1980 to nearly 18 percent in 2012.