Team to Address Bariatric Care in Canadian Children

Team to Address Bariatric Care in Canadian Children

Parental Misperceptions

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Parents think children's weight is

In a recent study (full pdf), researchers analyzed data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), a project of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and found that most parents perceived their kids’ weight as “just about right,” even when there was ample evidence to the contrary. According to the findings, 95 to 97 percent of parents of overweight boys, and 88 to 93 percent of parents of overweight girls thought their kids were within a normal weight range. And although many children in the later study were significantly heavier than in the earlier one, the parental perception did not noticeably change. Among the multitude of reasons for parents incorrectly perceiving their childrens’ weight, it’s possible that parents use their neighbours and peers as the standard—comparing their own children to other kids in deciding whether they are overweight, instead of using evidence-based growth charts or consulting with pediatricians.

Duncan et al., Child Obes, 2015

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