Childhood Obesity: New Study Finds Previous Childhood Obesity Research Bias?! Experts Say Fathers Are Excluded In Surveys

By KJ Williams, Parent Herald November 04, 01:30 pm

Childhood obesity is perhaps one of the most serious medical condition that affects children and adolescents. Aside from causing health problems, it could also lead to poor self-esteem and depression.

Over the years, the battle with childhood obesity has continued to rise and this puts children's health at great risk. The fact can't be denied that in a span of three decades, the numbers of children suffering from obesity have increased to twice the numbers from the past years and the numbers of teenagers went up four times higher than before, as reported by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

What was interesting about these childhood obesity surveys, however, was the recent claims saying the studies were biased. The reason? Experts found the research underrepresented the fathers when the surveys were conducted.

In a recent study conducted by Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health's Kirsten Davison with a joint effort with University at Albany School of Public Health associate professor Jennifer Manganello, it showed that the previous studies conducted on childhood obesity were biased. According to the news release emailed to Parent Herald, the studies conducted before inadequately represented fathers, which lead to the unsuccessful intervention to control or stop childhood obesity.

Prof. Jennifer Manganello explained that it had been established that many studies focusing on childhood obesity had been concentrated on mothers and for them to measure the extent of the problem, they need to put real numbers to the research. In the data that they have gathered, it showed that only 1 percent of the studies included fathers while the rest were only participated by mothers.

Meanwhile, researchers admitted that they always find it hard for fathers to participate in any study, especially on parenting and child health. That is why researchers' needs to come up with new concept and approach to engaged fathers to participate and enroll in all kinds of research that affects children and their health.

If they could get the fathers to participate in these kinds of studies, researchers ensure the composition they need to create a method of intervention will be relevant and useful to the parents. This will also ensure the studies are fair and just, and experts can all look forward to see the numbers decreasing on childhood obesity.

The full study has been published in the November 2016 edition of American Public Health Association. The Harvard School of Public Health also featured the recent findings on its website.

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