A new study by US researchers believe that mothers of chubby toddlers need to become aware of their babies’ weight problem and take preventive measures for obesity.
A study of 281 women and their children revealed that mothers often do not have a realistic idea of their babies’ weight and still believe that a chubby child is the healthy one.
The research included low-income families which were at higher risk of becoming overweight or obese. As predicted, most of the randomly selected women were obese or overweight.
During the trial, when researchers asked the women to select a silhouette that correctly reflected their child’s true body size, about 70 percent of them were inaccurate in assessing their toddler’s body size.
“Mothers of overweight toddlers were more than 88 per cent less likely to accurately perceive their child’s body size,” said lead author Dr. Erin Hager of the University of Maryland.
The majority of mothers were also satisfied with their toddler’s body size, yet were inaccurate in their perception of their child’s actual body size, noted the scientists whose findings were published in the Archives of Paediatrics and Adolescent Medicine
“This may be because high-weight status is often regarded as a sign of successful parenting, especially during the early years when parents are responsible for their child’s health, nutrition and activity opportunities,” added Dr. Hager.
“Future studies should examine how parental satisfaction and/or accuracy are related to parenting behaviors including feeding behaviors and encouragement of physical activity,” she suggested.