Obese and overweight women, kids think they weigh less

March 24th, 2011 - 3:21 pm ICT by ANI  

Washington, March 24 (ANI): A new study has found that overweight and obese mothers and their children think they weigh less than their actual weight.

In the study of women and children in an urban, predominantly Hispanic population, most normal weight women and children in the study correctly estimated their body weight, but most obese women and children underestimated theirs.

Nicole E Dumas, an internal medicine resident at Columbia University Medical Center and colleagues surveyed women and their pre-adolescent children attending an urban, primary care center in New York City.

They asked the subjects about their age, income, heart disease risk factors, and perceptions of their body size using silhouette images that corresponded to specific body mass index (BMI) types - for example, underweight, normal and overweight.

The researchers also recorded participants’ height, weight and BMI, which is a measurement of body weight based on height. A BMI of 25-29 is overweight, and a BMI over 30 is obese.

The researchers found 65.8 percent of the mothers surveyed were overweight or obese, 38.9 percent of children surveyed were overweight or obese, 81.8 percent of obese women underestimated their weight compared to 42.5 percent of overweight and 13.2 percent of normal weight women.

Similarly, 86 percent of overweight or obese children underestimated their weight compared to 15 percent of normal weight children.

Of mothers with overweight or obese children, almost half thought their children were of normal weight.

Children selected larger body images than those chosen by their mothers to describe an “ideal” or “healthy” body image for a woman.

41.4 percent of the children in the study thought their moms should lose weight.

The findings were presented at scientific sessions of American Heart Association. (ANI)

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