Overweight boys more likely to underestimate their body size
(5 months ago)
Washington D.C. , Jan. 05 : Parents please take note! A study has recently found that overweight children, especially boys, are more likely to underestimate their body size, which can make it difficult to address the issue and to take necessary steps to attain a healthier body.
According to Norwegian University Of Science And Technology researchers, overweight and obese youth who have a correct perception of their body size are more likely to be depressed. Individuals who are big and know it report more psychological problems.
Study's first author Silje Steinsbekk said, "To put it simply, first we have to acknowledge that we have a problem before we can do something about it. This also applies to parents: if they don't recognize that their children have a weight problem, they won't seek help for it".
The study looked at the risk and protective factors contributing to children's psychological and social health.
The project was followed up with nearly a thousand children and their parents.
They are also studying what factors promote good health habits and what contributes to the development of obesity, inactivity and poor eating habits.
They investigated as to how the children estimated their body size and compared this to how their estimates changed from age 6 to 8 and age 8 to 10 by showing them seven pictures of girls and boys with known body mass index.
The findings indicated that children more often underestimated than overestimated the size of their body, although the majority made accurate estimates.
Boys were more likely to underestimate their own body size than girls.
"We also found that the higher the children's BMI, the more they underestimated their size over time," Steinsbekk noted.
The results appear in the online journal Frontiers in Psychology.