Blinkered parents fuel childhood obesity, says report (UK), 23 November 2009

Seven out of 10 parents think their child takes plenty of exercise, despite only one in 10 doing enough, a poll found today. Research for the British Heart Foundation (BHF) found there was a “reality gap” between what parents believe and what actually happens in day-to-day life. The charity released a report called Couch Kids on how a lack of exercise is fuelling childhood obesity. Children are taking no more exercise than a decade ago and obesity levels have risen dramatically over the same period.

In 1995, 11% of boys and 12% of girls were overweight or obese, rising to 17% of boys and 16% respectively in 2007. NHS data shows about one in three young people are currently overweight or obese. The BHF survey of more than 900 parents found 71% believe their children are “active enough” but only 11% of youngsters are active for 60 minutes a day, as recommended by the Government.