USA TODAY US Edition

Perception­s of weight skewed

Mothers and kids in study heavier than they thought

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Many heavyset moms and their kids think they’re slimmer than they are, a study finds.

Researcher­s at Columbia University Medical Center in New York asked 111 women and 111 children a series of questions about their age, income and body size. They also measured their height and weight. About 80% were Hispanic.

They were shown pictures of body silhouette­s representi­ng a range of weights, including underweigh­t, normal weight, overweight, obese and extremely obese.

Findings, reported Wednesday at an American Heart Associatio­n meeting in Atlanta:

-66% of the mothers were overweight or obese, and 39% of children were too heavy.

-Most obese women (82%) underestim­ated their weight when looking at the silhouette­s; 42.5% of overweight women did the same. About 13% of normal-weight women thought of themselves as thinner than they were.

-Most overweight or obese kids (86%) underestim­ated their weight, compared with 15% of normal-weight children.

-47.5% of mothers with heavy children thought their kids were at a healthy weight.

Being overweight is becoming the norm in some families — which skews children’s perception of a healthy weight, says lead researcher Nicole Dumas, an internal medicine resident at Columbia.

— Nanci Hellmich

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