My Nutrition and Fitness Plan

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Obese Mothers Underestimate Their Children’s Weight

Obese mothers have a big problem of underestimating their children’s weight, says a CNN article. Being overweight and obese is becoming common which might be desensitizing their views on the added poundage.

Eighty-two percent of the obese women in a study underestimated their weight. This skewed viewpoint could be detrimental to their health. Since many find their weight within a normal range they aren’t inclined to change it.

This perception also leaks into underestimating their children’s weight says the article. Half of the mothers who had an overweight child thought their child's weight is normal.

"A lot of their misperception has to do with the fact that overweight and obesity is becoming the norm," says the lead author of the study, Nicole E. Dumas, M.D., an internal medicine resident at Columbia University Medical Center, in New York.

As each mothers weight increases so does her view of her child’s weight. In turn her child also doesn’t see their mother as being overweight. More than 80% of the women were overweight but yet only 41% of their children thought their moms needed to lose weight.

Each child was presented with cards that showed different body type. The kids were then asked to pick which body they thought was ideal for their mothers. The study showed that they tended to pick body weights that were unhealthily large.

"In order to target the obesity epidemic, we need to improve perceptions of body weight and create healthy image goals, but how do we change perceptions? That's the big question,” says Dumas.

Chanelle Jepson

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