Advice offered to families about overweight children often goes ignored, a new study has revealed.

The research, carried out by Bristol University, found that two-thirds of children could be obese by 2050 if current trends continue.

The scientists found that only 47 percent of parents consulted their GP about their child's weight after receiving a letter, and only 15 per cent of those children had their weight recorded by their GP - indicating the cases were not investigated properly.

In total, only one in four children ended up in a specialist weight clinic, the report in the British Journal of General Practice claimed.

Researcher Dr Jonathan Banks said: "Previous research has found that parents of overweight children find it difficult to seek help from a health professional and that many do not recognise overweight or obesity in their children.

"It might be expected that parents who were unsure about how to deal with their child's weight would be prompted by the letter, but the very low take-up suggests resistance to addressing the issue."

Co-researcher Professor Julian Shields said that GPs were reluctant to deal with an often embarrassing subject with their patients.

He said 'It's still a taboo area but things have got to change, this is one of the most pressing problems for our children."

Posted by Robert Mair on 27.7.11 Please send your comments on this article to: penny.hosie@pavpub.com 

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