Navigation Links
1 in 4 U.S. Kids Underestimate Their Weight, Study Finds

HealthDay Reporter

THURSDAY, July 31, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Many obese and overweight kids don't see themselves that way, which makes achieving a healthy weight almost impossible, researchers report.

In a new study, 27 percent of children and teens underestimated their weight. Fewer than 3 percent overestimated it. About 25 percent of parents underestimated their child's weight and just 1 percent overestimated it, according to the study.

"Efforts to prevent childhood obesity should incorporate education for both children and parents regarding the proper identification and interpretation of actual body weight," said lead researcher Han-Yang Chen, from the department of quantitative health sciences at the University of Massachusetts Medical School in Worcester, Mass.

"Interventions for appropriate weight loss should target children directly because one of the major driving forces to lose weight comes from the child's perception of their weight," he said.

The report was published July 31 in the journal Preventing Chronic Disease.

Dr. William Muinos, director of the weight management program at Miami Children's Hospital, said, "I see weight misperception all the time."

Parents don't understand why their child is overweight or obese, he said. Parents think their child has a glandular problem or they will outgrow obesity. "That's nonsense, because obese kids are likely to stay obese," Muinos said.

Children can misperceive their weight if all the people they see are obese or overweight, he said. "If everyone you're around in your family and your social world is obese or overweight, then you are one big happy family. And you see that in our country," Muinos explained.

For the study, Chen's team used data from the 2007 to 2008 and 2009 to 2010 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey to assess weight perceptions. The surveys included more than 2,500 kids aged 8 to 15 years.

The researchers found that the odds of trying to lose weight was nearly 10 times higher among participants who overestimated their weight than among those who perceived their weight accurately. Those who underestimated their weight were the least likely to attempt to lose weight, according to the study.

Parental misperception of weight was not associated with attempts to lose weight among children and teens who were overweight or obese, the investigators found.

Dr. David Katz, director of the Yale University Prevention Research Center, takes a broader view of the problems of weight perception.

"Above all, this study highlights the perils of a societal preoccupation with weight, rather than a focus on health and the lifestyle factors that support it," he said.

Eating well and being active are important regardless of weight because they promote health, he said. "Weight is merely one among many measures that suggest something about overall health, albeit an important one," Katz said.

The high rate of dieting among children who overestimated their weight is of real concern, he noted. "This behavioral pattern suggests impaired body image perception and vulnerability to eating disorders," Katz said.

The more common problem of underestimating weight and its effect on lowering the likelihood of weight control efforts is also concerning, he added.

"These opposing problems are really two sides of the same coin -- the fixation on weight rather than health. In general, dieting is ill advised, both for overweight children and those misperceiving their weight as high when it isn't," Katz said.

Eating well and being active are recommended for both groups and all other children, he said. "We do need to raise awareness about the importance of childhood obesity, but we need to emphasize that what really matters is health," Katz explained.

"If a devotion to healthful behaviors was the norm in our culture, and not the perception of weight, we would not talk our children into dieting they do not need, or out of weight control efforts they do need," he said.

Muinos added that parents need to be educated about the importance of healthy eating and exercise as well as the dangers of obesity.

Getting children to eat well and exercise needs to be a family effort, Muinos said. "You cannot isolate the child who is obese. The whole family has to be involved both in exercise and diet," he said.

More information

For more about childhood obesity, visit the U.S. National Library of Medicine.

SOURCES: Han-Yang Chen, M.S., department of quantitative health sciences, University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester, Mass.; David Katz, M.D., M.P.H., director, Yale University Prevention Research Center, New Haven, Conn.; William Muinos, M.D., director, weight management program, Miami Children's Hospital; July 31, 2014, Preventing Chronic Disease

Copyright©2014 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Research says TB infection may be underestimated among people taking corticosteroid pills
2. Parents Underestimate Influence Over Teens Substance Abuse: Survey
3. Commonly used cholesterol calculation underestimates heart disease danger for many
4. Breast cancer risk prediction model for African American women underestimates risk
5. Docs, Families May Underestimate Patients Odds After Some Strokes: Study
6. Many People Underestimate How Long a Cough Should Last
7. People Underestimate How Much They Might Change in the Future
8. Carbon Monoxide Poisoning: An Underestimated Threat
9. Mothers, children underestimate obesity in China
10. Fitness on the Go's Rewards Program Helps Clients Reach Their Goals
11. Champagne Smiles is Thrilled to Now Offer Sedation Dentistry to their Patients
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
1 in 4 U.S. Kids Underestimate Their Weight, Study Finds
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... On Friday, June 10, Van Mitchell, ... at Work award to iHire in recognition of their exemplary accomplishments in worksite health ... annual Maryland Workplace Health & Wellness Symposium at the BWI Marriott in Linthicum Heights. ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... A recent article published ... unfamiliar with. The article goes on to state that individuals are now more comfortable ... less common operations such as calf and cheek reduction. The Los Angeles area medical ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... , ... June 19, 2016 is World Sickle Cell Observance Day. In an ... of holistic treatments, Serenity Recovery Center of Marne, Michigan, has issued a ... Cell Disease (SCD) is a disorder of the red blood cells, which can cause ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... 2016 , ... The Pulmonary Hypertension Association (PHA) learned during ... two significant new grants to support its work to advance research and patient ... recognizing patients, medical professionals and scientists for their work in fighting pulmonary hypertension ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... , ... June 24, 2016 , ... ... offering micro-osteoperforation for accelerated orthodontic treatment. Dr. Cheng has extensive experience with all ... brackets , AcceleDent, and accelerated osteogenic orthodontics. , Micro-osteoperforation is a revolutionary ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... NAMUR , Belgium , ...  (NYSE MKT: VNRX), today announced the appointment of ... Board of Directors as a Non-Executive Director, effective ... the Company,s Audit, Compensation and Nominations and Governance ... Board, Dr. Futcher will provide independent expertise and ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... DUBLIN , June 23, 2016 ... the "Pharmaceutical Excipients Market by Type (Organic Chemical ... Preservative), Formulation (Oral, Topical, Coating, Parenteral) - Global Forecast ... The global pharmaceutical excipients ... 2021 at a CAGR of 6.1% in the forecast ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016 Research and ... News Issue 52" report to their offering. ... influenza treatment creates a favourable commercial environment for MedImmune to ... patient base that will serve to drive considerable growth for ... would serve to cap sales considerably, but development is still ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: