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Majority of parents underestimate child’s weight

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Posted: Wednesday, February 5, 2014 10:34 am | Updated: 10:36 am, Wed Feb 5, 2014.

Over 50 percent of parents fail to recognize their child is overweight or obese, according to a meta-analysis from researchers at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

In an analysis of 69 studies published between 1990 and 2012, researchers found more than 50 percent of parents tend to underestimate the weight of their overweight or obese child, despite the fact childhood obesity rates have tripled during the last 30 years. Parents are more likely to underestimate weight when the child is between ages 2 and 5, if the child is a boy, or if they too are overweight. These trends were consistent regardless of where the families lived and the obesity rates in that area.

"This is a topic that has a lot of implications for children and their weight," study lead Alyssa Lundahl was quoted as saying. "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."

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