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Study Shows Many Parents Underestimate Weights of Their Children

Parents’ perceptions of their children’s weight can have important implications in obesity prevention but a new study in Pediatrics has shown that many parents underestimate how much their children weigh, The New York Times’ Well blog reports. The study was a meta-analysis of 121 studies of 80,000 parental estimates of the weight of their children between ages 2 and 19. Results showed that “more than half of parents of overweight and obese children underestimated their weight, and so did about 14 percent of parents of normal weight children.” Scientists suggest that these misperceptions may be due to the fact that the media often portrays “a stereotypical picture of overweight children as severely obese and that this distorts parents’ understanding.”

Read it in The New York Times’ Well blog.

Read the study in Pediatrics.