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Parents don't realize when their child is overweight - new study says

Posted on Mar 01, 2010 by Maggie LaBarbera

Can you tell if your child is overweight?

According to a new study, you may be underestimating your child's weight. A large proportion of the parents of overweight children—and especially mothers, who are surveyed more often—do not perceive their children as overweight. In some studies, the percentage of parents who don’t realize (or won’t admit) that their child is overweight has been reported to be as high as 80% to 90%.

One thought was that we have a greater percentage of overweight and obese children.  So overweight kids don't stand out as much as they used to twenty years ago.

Regardless, of the reasons, it is important to first start with a pediatric check up and see where your child is on the growth chart.  You can also use our BMI calculator designed for kids but remember this is just one measurement and has to be combined with other factors.  If your child is indeed overweight, then working with a dietitian is recommended. The basics will still apply:

Don't single out your child, work as a family to eat healthier

Set one or two goals for changing eating habits and track them.

Be patient, positive and encouraging.

General guidelines of areas to work towards:

  • Find activities that your child and family can do together and work towards being active for at least one hour every day.
  • Increase fruits and vegetables.
  • Decrease sugary and fatty foods that don't offer nutrition,  just calories.
  • Get plenty of sleep.
  • Limit TV time and screen time to 2 hours or less a day
  • Eat breakfast every morning
Resources from Nourish Interactive:

Printable Nutrition Tips and Tools for Parents

Healthy Parenting Nutrition Articles- 'Nourish Healthy Kids' newsletter articles and tips

Free Nutrition Education Games for Kids!- Fun interactive games and tools

Healthy Nutrition Tips Calendar -Printable PDF

Printable Healthy Nutrition Tips Calendar





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