MOSCOW, July 24 (RIA Novosti) – Approximately 30 percent of children and adolescents aged 8-15 misperceive their weight status, with the tendency being more common among boys, 32.3 percent, than girls, 28 percent, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention stated in a survey published on Wednesday.
The findings of the National Health and Nutrition Examination survey said that of those surveyed 81 percent of overweight boys and 71 percent of overweight girls believe their weight to be normal.
The researchers Sarafrazi, Hughes, Borrud et al. claim that a vast majority of children having problems with obesity are Mexican-American, 34 percent, or non-Hispanic black, 34.4 percent.
Medical Director for the Wellness Institute at the Cleveland Clinic Dr. Daniel Neides believes that this comes as an unfortunate result of the first two groups being more susceptible to weight issues, The Time reports.
“As our country gets heavier, children don’t necessarily see it as abnormal,” Times cited Dr. Neides as saying.
Clinical obesity in childhood leads to severe health issues in adulthood and is considered a major public problem in modern America.
But it is not only children who misinterpret their weight. A study by the University of Nebraska-Lincoln uncovered that most parents are incapable of apprehending that their children are having weight problems.
Researchers Alyssa Lundhal and Timothy Nelson claimed that more than half of parents did not recognize their children as being obese.
“Parents who underestimate their children’s weight may not encourage healthy eating and physical activities that can optimize their children’s health and reduce their risk of obesity,” Lundahl said in the study.
The researchers also discovered that parents tend to be less accurate in recognizing weight problems with sons rather than daughters.
“There is a belief that boys are supposed to be big and strong,” Lundahl said. “If they’re not a little bit bigger, they’re seen as being too small.”
The researchers claim that parents’ viewpoint on their children’s weight grows more accurate with the age.
“Parents realize it’s not just baby fat any more and they’re not going to grow out of it,” Lundahl said.