MILAN – In a study published by the Daily Mail, half the number of parents with an overweight child tend to deny their child is overweight and, in some cases, they even say he/she is underweight. The reasons for this attitude, according to some experts, are perhaps to be sought in the desire of the parents to stigmatize the issue. According to others, instead, this distorted perception of reality could also be due to the high frequency of images of overweight children shown by the media and which tend to convince people that this is the norm.
Alyssa Lundahl has conducted a study at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, in the USA. The study was based on a review of 69 studies existing at a global level between 1990 and 2012 involving more than 15,000 children aged between 2 and 18. The researchers asked parents to evaluate the weight of their child using images or rating scales. They then measured the children according to Body Mass Index growth charts to establish whether they were overweight or obese. The study showed that 51% of parents with overweight or obese children underestimate the size of their child. The parents who had the greatest difficulty in determining correct weight were those with younger children, aged between 2 and 5.
The importance of hydration
One of the main factors affecting the weight of children, especially of school age, is hydration. A German study conducted by Dr. Rebecca Muckelbauer on about 3 thousand children aged between 7 and 8, determined that a glass of water a day, throughout the school year, reduced the risk of becoming overweight by 31%.