Home Media and News Almost all parents of overweight children believe their children are ‘the right weight’

Almost all parents of overweight children believe their children are ‘the right weight’

28-05-2015
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The study was conducted by researchers from New York University School of Medicine's NYU Langone Medical Center in New York City, Georgia Southern University in Statesboro and Fudan University in Shanghai, China. The authors claim their study is the first to investigate parents' perception of their preschool children's weight status over time. Data from physical examinations and interviews were drawn from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The researchers studied two groups of children aged 2-5 years old in the US over the time periods 1988-94 and 2007-12. Each group totaled more than 3,000 children. Parents of these children had been asked whether they thought their children were overweight, underweight or just about the right weight. The study found that, respectively across the two study groups, 97% and 95% of parents of overweight boys considered their child to be about the right weight. For overweight girls, 88% and 93% of parents thought their child was the right weight. "The results are consistent with past studies in which a considerably high number of parents incorrectly perceived their overweight/obese preschool child as being 'just about the right weight,'" says Dr. Dustin Duncan, lead author of the study and an assistant professor in the Department of Population Health at NYU Langone and Affiliated Faculty Member at NYU's Global Institute of Public Health.