Parents often think obese children are 'about the right weight'

7 May 2015

Although childhood obesity has risen dramatically in the past few decades, there is still an ignorance among parents about weight, a new study has suggested.

Research led by New York University (NYU) Langone Medical Center has suggested that the majority of parents with obese kids think their children are "about the right weight".

Published in the journal Childhood Obesity, the team, along with collaborators from Georgia Southern University and Fudan University in Shanghai, looked at the perception parents with obese children have.

They analysed information from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), which uses physical examinations to assess the health of both children and adults.

The team studied two groups: 3,839 children between 1988 to 1994, and 3,151 children from 2007 to 2012.

Some 97 per cent of parents with overweight boys from the first study and 95 per cent from the second group thought their sons were ''about the right weight''. Around 88 per cent of parents with overweight daughters perceived their daughters as "about the right weight" and 93 per cent in the more recent survey.

According to the team, the findings are important as parents with more accurate perceptions of their child's weight are more likely to implement behaviour changes that lead to weight loss.

Posted by Jeanette Royston

Health News is provided by Adfero in collaboration with Spire Healthcare. Please note that all copy above is ©Adfero Ltd. and does not reflect views or opinions of Spire Healthcare unless explicitly stated. Additional comments on the page from individual Spire consultants do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of other consultants or Spire Healthcare.

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