Parents think their obese kids are a perfect weight

Most parents are not able to recognize that their pre-school children are overweight due to parental blinders, according to the results from a new study. The study found that 71% of all parents that participated in the research with obese or overweight toddlers thought their children were lighter or a healthy weight, even though they were not.

If a paediatrician had not discussed the issue with the parents, they were even more likely to believe that their child was lighter than reality, with only 8% of parents reporting that they had discussed their child’s weight with a doctor.

Study researcher, Dr. Raquel Hernandez, stated that paediatricians need to be more forward about discussing weight with parents because while it may be a difficult subject to broach, in the long run it will pay off because if offers a chance for parents to re-evaluate their children’s’ eating habits.

Hernandez continued to explain that it is one thing to be worried about baby fat, but obesity starting at a young age does have an impact on a child not limited to the fact that children need to develop good habits so that they can learn how to be healthy for the rest of their lives.

Many studies have found that children that are overweight at age two increase their risk of obesity as they grow by about five times.  The American Academy of Paediatrics recommends that doctors screen for obesity and overweight children starting at age two using the BMI (body mass index).

Children who are overweight will fall into the 85th-94th percentile of the BMI chart and those that are obese are above the 95th percentile.

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