More than 50 per cent of parents are not able to recognize that their child is overweight, researchers have revealed.
Seeking a clear answer on when and whether parents realize their children are overweight, University of Nebraska-Lincoln Alyssa Lundahl combined and analyzed data from 69 studies conducted worldwide between 1990 and 2012, involving children aged 2 to 18.
In the study, Lundahl found that more than 50 percent of parents underestimate the weight of their overweight or obese child.
Surprisingly, parents' perceptions about whether their children are overweight have not changed as childhood obesity rates increased, Lundahl notes. Nor are they influenced by obesity rates in the place where they live.
Parents of younger children, ages 2 to 5, are less likely to perceive their children as overweight or obese.
Parents also are less accurate in judging the size of their sons, believing that normal weight sons are actually underweight.
Parents who are overweight also are less likely to accurately assess their children's weight
The study is set to be published in journal Pediatrics.