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Obese Mothers And Children More Likely To Underestimate Weight

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Obese children and mothers underestimate weight

A new study presented at the American Heart Association conference in Atlanta on Wednesday shows that obese mothers and their children are more likely to underestimate their own and each other's weight.

Columbia University researchers found 82% percent of the obese women in their study underestimated their weight, compared with 43% of overweight and 13% of normal-weight women.

Similarly, 86% of overweight or obese children failed to correctly estimate their weight, compared with just 15% of normal-weight children.

This suggests that with roughly two-thirds of adults and one-third of children in the U.S. now overweight or obese, those in that category are more likely to perceive their weight as "normal".

The study's lead author Nicole E Dumas, M.D., said, "A lot of their misperception has to do with the fact that overweight and obesity is becoming the norm."

That's a little unsettling.

Dumas continued to explain:

"There was a trend that showed that as women became more and more overweight, and then obese, the larger the misperception of true body weight was. Unfortunately, we found this was the case with the children as well."

Since most of the participants were Latino mothers and children in urban settings, other medical experts believe the study was too small and too ethnically homogenous to support any firm conclusions.

However, the study author points out that other studies have found similar trends among African Americans and Caucasians.

Either way, it's a little scary to think that obesity is becoming the perception of what is "normal".

[Image via AP Images.]

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