Could your child be overweight—and not even know it? According to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, most children and teens who are overweight think that they are actually the right weight.
Live Science is reporting on the study, in which researchers asked kids ages 8 to 15 whether they considered themselves to be “fat or overweight, too thin, or about the right weight.”
Overall, about 30 percent of the children had misperceptions about their weight. Some kids who normal weight thought they were overweight or too thin. Other kids who were overweight or obese thought they were underweight or about the right weight.
The overweight kids had the most had misperceptions about their weight. 81 percent of overweight boys and 71 percent of overweight girls thought they were about the right weight. In addition, about half of obese boys and a third of obese girls thought they were the right weight.
According to the report, more children from low-income families had misperceptions about their weight, compared with the children of high- and middle-income families.
Previous studies have shown that parents also misperceive their children’s weight. Dr. Ihuoma U. Eneli, at Nationwide Children’s Hospital says one reason for the misperception may be inadequate knowledge about what a healthy weight looks like.
Dr. Eneli points out that as the prevalence of obesity has increased over time, our perception of what is a normal weight has also changed. She says “If people look heavier, then heavier starts looking like the norm.”
For some advice on helping your child stay healthy and fit, go to healthychildren.org.
I’m Bill Maier for Shine.FM.
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