NZ Herald 21 November 2013
A bleak picture of Kiwi children’s health is being painted at a paediatric conference this week, with experts warning that pandering parents are fuelling childhood obesity, and poor oral health is affecting their learning.
The research, to be presented at the Paediatric Society of New Zealand’s 65th annual scientific meeting in Dunedin, comes as a new analysis reveals childhood health is slipping worldwide, with children unable to run as fast or far as their parents could when they were young.
The study showed the decline in fitness was levelling off in Australia and New Zealand – but the research at this week’s conference suggests parents should still be concerned about their children’s health.
A study from Otago University’s department of human nutrition found parents who pandered to fussy eaters were more likely to have obese offspring.
Dr Jill Haszard, who will present her findings today, said the biggest problem in childhood obesity was the way parents fed their kids.