Significant proportion of mothers are unaware of their children’s height and weight

A significant proportion of mothers are unaware of their children’s height and weight—which has implications for early detection of childhood obesity.

Researchers utilized data from 230 mothers in the St. Louis area of containing baseline self-reported and measured heights and weights of mothers and children who were enrolled in ‘Healthy Eating and Active Living Taught at Home’(HEALTH), a parent-focused weight-loss intervention study. Mothers who were between the ages of 18 and 45 with a BMI of 25-45kg/m2 and who had at least one preschool child at risk for overweight were included in this study.

This cross-sectional study found that 23% of mothers were unaware of their child’s weight and 32% reported inaccurate measurements, meaning that around 50% of the mothers were unaware of their child’s obesity risk.

The family environment and specifically a mother’s responsiveness toward child’s weight plays a crucial role in obesity intervention. These results highlight the need to develop strategies that will keep parents informed on the accurate estimate of their own child’s weight.

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