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Why some parents don’t see their kids as overweight

Dr. Kristin Woodward takes a look at a new study.

A new study published in the journal Pediatrics shows 51% of parents with overweight or obese kids don’t think their kids are too heavy. The study also showed 15% of parents with kids of a normal weight believes their kids are too thin.

There are few possible explanations. First one-third of kids in the US are overweight or obese. It is possible we are just more familiar with seeing overweight kids. Second, parents may be resistant to labeling their child as overweight. Third, if a child is active in sports parents might think it’s not a problem.

Parents should talk to their pediatrician about their child’s weight. They should know where their child falls on the Body Mass Index chart. A Body Mass Index is a measure of a child’s weight and height. Kids are considered overweight if their B.M.I. falls above the 85%. A child is considered obese if their B.M.I. falls above the 95%.

It is important to prioritize a healthy lifestyle early in a child’s life. Last week a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine showed overweight kids in kindergarten were four times as likely to be overweight in 8th grade.

Experts recommend sticking to water and low-fat milk. Screen time should be limited to no more than two hours a day. Families should stay active together. Let kids choose what fruits and vegetables are in the fridge at home.