New study: Parents may not realize their children are overweight or obese

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Story by: CNN

The childhood obesity rate in our nation is growing. Parents are the first line of defense to make sure their kids have a healthy start. But, parents must recognize there’s a problem first, and that is where a new study shows some moms and dads may be falling short.

Ask any parent and they’ll likely say their child is just perfect in their eyes. But that’s where the problem may be, because it might be blinding them from seeing a growing problem.
There’s a new study out from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and it found that some parents are overlooking their kids’ obesity.

Data was analyzed from nearly 70 studies from children age 2-18 years old, from the past 20 years. The researchers found more than 50-percent of parents underestimated the weight of their overweight or obese child.

This of course has important implications for kids and parents.

“What you don’t know can hurt you.  If parents don’t know that their children have a weight problem, then they may not take the steps to make appropriate lifestyle changes, and get the support that they need.  And there can be real long-term health implications,” said Tim Nelson with the Psychology Department of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Some other interesting findings of the study; the younger the kids are, the more parents overlooked weight concerns. But then they find that after five years, parents’ perceptions of their children became much more accurate.
There is also a gender divide. Parents are more accurate in judging the size of their daughters than their sons.

While no one believes parents should be overly critical of their child’s weight, this is a health issue here because the childhood obesity rate has tripled in the last 30 years.

1 Comment

  • MyTakeOnIt

    They say that ignorance is bliss. Are pediatricians or school nurse reports informing them? Do they watch the news? Of course every other week the focus of reports switches from overweight kids to an epidemic of underfed kids (aka poor kids who have to get breakfast at school).

    There is only one common place where parents can get information dispersed to them without them asking and that is a visit to the pediatrician. You know how every medical office seems to take blood pressure, pulse and weight when you go in as an adult for anything? I assume a child's progress is checked when they go in for a wellness or illness visit. That is when the parents should be informed or counseled.

    If the children follow in the parents' image, of course they "may not realize".

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