American parents have been apparently living in complete denial about the weight problem their kids have, revealed a startling new study.
When researchers reviewed the data on how American parents perceived their kids, they were in for quite a shock. An overwhelming 94.9 percent believed the kids’ size was “just right.” As unsettling as that statistic might sound, previous studies conducted on smaller populations have yielded similar results and the researchers claim, it’s not the worst that was discovered.
When researchers compared the results with a similar survey conducted two decades earlier, they discovered the chances of a child “being appropriately perceived by the parents declined by 30%.” They even noted that African-American parents and those who were on a low-income had the most inaccurate and wildly incorrect perception about their children and their appearance, strictly from a physical health perceptive, stated Dustin T. Duncan, an assistant professor in the Department of Population Health at NYU Langone Medical Center, who led the research.
“We have changed our perceptions of what our weight ideals are, even among kids aged 2 to 5, who were the subjects of this study. Most parents can no longer tell what a healthy weight looks like, and their doctors aren’t helping them understand. If every other child is obese or overweight, you would think your child is normal as well.”
Interestingly, the study also showed that 78.4 percent of parents of children who were obese believed their kids were “just right.”
Parents were asked the Goldilocks question, “Do you consider [child’s name] to be: overweight, underweight, just about the right weight, or don’t know?” Their answers were recorded and matched with the actual health of their wards.
Researchers lament the chances of a kid being perceived correctly have declined sharply. Even if they are overweight, they are more than likely to be seen as “healthy children” and that’s not good, continued Duncan.
“We know that overweight pre-school children tend to be overweight school children, they tend to be overweight adolescents, and it follows them into adulthood.”
The researchers strongly feel that most parents today have no idea what a “healthy child” looks like. As waistlines have expanded over the decades, parents appear blissfully unaware that their child has already become obese. What really ticked the researchers is that pediatricians don’t seem much concerned about opening the eyes of the parents and letting them know in the clearest way possible that their kid is fat.
[Image Credit |New Kids-Center]