Tuesday, October 21, 2008

40 Percent of Parents Mistaken About Children's Weight

“Research from Australia suggests that more than four in ten parents don't know if their children are under or overweight and because of this they are unlikely to help their children correct their weight and the children themselves tend to under or overestimate their body size. The study was part of doctoral research based at the University of Melbourne's School of Behavioural Science and was conducted by Dr Pene Schmidt who was recently awarded a Doctor of Psychology at the University. One of Schmidt's key findings was that the percentage of under and overweight children in the group she studied varied depending on whether she used body mass index (BMI) or wast circumference to classify them. Using BMI resulted in more children being overweight than using waist circumference. Other studies have looked at parents' perceptions of their children's weight but Schmidt's study is believed to be the first to use both BMI and waist circumference. The study also found that children who were not classified as being of normal weight were more likely to under or overestimate their body size; and a small percentage of parents thought their overweight children were underweight or their underweight children were overweight. Schmidt said that the study showed there was a need to overhaul the way children's weight is classified so as to give parents better information about what is the normal weight range for children of different age groups. She said parents were unlikely to make the right changes if they had the wrong perception about their children's weight.”


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