Thursday, February 6, 2014

Parental Misperceptions of Their Child’s Weight: Implications for Obesity Prevention and Treatment

As pediatricians, one of the challenges we face is when a family does not see their child as being as overweight or obese as the growth chart might indicate. Why does this occur and what can we do about it?

Photo by PublicDomainPictures via Pixabay
Lundahl et al. (doi: 10.1542/ peds.2013-2690) weigh in with a large meta-analysis involving 69 articles and 78 samples of almost 15,800 overweight children to understand how often underestimation of weight status occurs and what contributes to this problem.

The researchers identified significant risk factors that can lead to underestimating a child’s weight that may be useful to help parents better acknowledge the rising trend in their child’s weight so that appropriate healthy strategies can be better implemented to tackle this problem.

Do you find parents in your practice do not grasp the import of a child becoming overweight or obese? Have you found ways to convince parents to see the reality of the situation? Leave a comment below, or share your thoughts via an eLetter, Facebook or Twitter. We’d love to hear from you.

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