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Parents Clueless Regarding Their Overweight Kids

A new report found that more than two thirds of U.S. states now have adult obesity rates above 25 percent.  In contrast, in 1991, no state had an obesity rate above 20 percent.

There are many reasons for this, ranging from the easy availability of high calorie food to lack of exercise and too much TV. But another factor to be at work as well – grave misperceptions about weight.  This is especially true of parents who mistakenly believe their children are slimmer than they are.

A new poll included in the report found that 84 percent of parents say their children are at a healthy weight, despite national stats showing that nearly one third of children and teens are overweight or obese.

According to Newsweek:

“Americans understand there’s a problem; they just don’t think their kids are a part of it. The consequences are dire ... when a pediatrician did raise a concern, parents were much less likely to misperceive reality. Bottom line: doctors, your patients are listening. It’s never too soon to start educating them.”