Parents see their children through rose-colored glasses. So they might not notice when junior has put on a few too many pounds, either.
New findings published in the British Journal of General Practice shows us that this is the case for many, unless their child has had advanced to extreme levels of obesity.
The research discovered that just under a third (31pc) of the parents that took part in the study underestimated where their child’s body mass index (BMI) was on obesity scales.
Just four parents described their child as being very overweight, despite 369 children being officially identified as such and fewer than 1pc overestimated their child’s weight status.
According to official guidelines, children are classified as overweight at the 85th centile and very overweight (or obese) at the 95th centile.
Researchers suggested that if parents cannot identify when their child is overweight, it leads to questions about the effectiveness of current public health interventions which aim to address obesity in the home.
They said potential explanations for parents’ underestimations may be fear of being judged, unwillingness to label a child as overweight, and shifting perceptions of normal weight because of increases in body weight at a societal level.