Magazine article Parks & Recreation

Parents, Kids Don't Perceive Obesity as a Health Problem

Magazine article Parks & Recreation

Parents, Kids Don't Perceive Obesity as a Health Problem

Article excerpt

Most 'tweens--that is, children ages 8-12--give little thought to maintaining a healthy weight. Rather than recognizing its immediate benefits or its long-term importance for their health, they relate their weight to athletic performance and overall appearance, according to a study recently published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association.

"Neither kids nor their parents see obesity as a health issue," says lead author Susan Borra, director of nutrition for the International Food Information Council Foundation. "Parents tend to characterize overweight as a social issue, worrying about how it will affect their child's self-esteem and acceptance by peers."

These findings should help parks and recreation programmers market their health-promotion programs. Remember: the primary reason people sign up for programs is that they're fun; secondary concerns are health, cost and convenience. Put another way, marketing for your health-promotion programs may be more successful if you say, "Get ready for bathing suit weather" instead of "Get healthy,"

Borra says the study is the first attempt to gauge parents' and children's attitudes toward childhood obesity. …

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