Overweight Moms, Children Think They're Thinner Than They Really Are, Study Shows

Filed under: In The News, Nutrition, Health

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Nearly half of moms with fat kids thought their children were at a healthy weight. Credit: Getty Images

Yes, those pants make you look fat.

Actually, to be honest, it's not so much that they make you look fat. You are fat.

Very few women can pull off polyester stretch pants with the word "delicious" emblazoned across the rear end, and girlfriend? You are not one of them.

Don't worry. It's a big club. With plenty of refreshments.

USA Today reports many a big mama and her horizontally challenged offspring are not as svelte as they think.

Researchers at Columbia University Medical Center in New York asked 111 women and 111 children questions about their age, income and body size, and also measured their height and weight. They were asked to identify their body shapes based on silhouettes representing underweight, normal weight, overweight, and obesity.

Researchers found:

• 66 percent of the mothers were overweight or obese.

• 39 percent of kids were too heavy.

• 82 percent of the mammoth mommies underestimated their weight when looking at the silhouettes; 42.5 percent of overweight women did the same. About 13 percent of normal-weight women thought of themselves as thinner than they were.

• 86 percent of the corpulent kiddies underestimated their weight, compared with 15 percent of normal-weight kids.

• 47.5 percents of moms with fat kids thought their children were at a healthy weight.

• 41 percent of the children thought their moms could lay off the donuts and lose weight.

Pediatrician Claire McCarthy of Children's Hospital Boston tells USA Today roughly half of her patients are fat.

"Parents come in and say that their child is too thin, but on the growth charts, he's a normal weight or even slightly overweight," she tells the newspaper. "There are so many overweight children out there that a normal-weight child looks thin. The norm has become overweight."

As America gets fatter, people could get a warped attitude toward their fattitude, lead researcher Nicole Dumas, an internal medicine resident at Columbia, tells USA Today.

"We're working on accruing a larger sample size to see if it applies to everyone," Dumas tells the newspaper. "The take-home message is that to address the obesity epidemic, we have to address body image misperception."

Check out how the families in our Healthy Families Challenge are doing!

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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.