Overweight children tend to underestimate their weight. An additional reason for the parents to get involved in the good nutritional balance of the children.
Better evaluate its weight, to better act in case of obesity. This is the conclusion of a study conducted by the Norwegian University of Science and Technology and published in Frontiers in Psychology. In conducting a study of children and their perception of their weight, they realized that overweight or obese children tend to underestimate their weight.
Two thousand children followed
The researchers followed 2,000 children since they were four years old, as well as their parents. They were interested in the question of how children perceived changes in their bodies between 6 and 8 years old and between 8 and 10 years old.
They showed the children pictures of other little boys and girls with different body mass indexes. They asked them which of these images they most identified with.
Then they compared the body mass indexes of the children in the study and those in the photos.
The bigger the children, the less they appreciate their weight
The researchers found that most of the time children underestimate their weight, more often than not.
Boys are more concerned than girls. "We also found that the higher the body mass index of children, the more they underestimate their weight over time," said Silje Steinsbekk, lead author of the study.
Parents are the solution
Scientists still note some benefits to this underestimation. In fact, being too aware of your weight problems can lead to psychological problems, or even depression.
"For children, the most important is the recognition of the problem by their parents. They are the ones who have to make the changes necessary for better health for their children, "says the professor.
According to the World Health Organization, in 2016 worldwide, 41 million children under 5 and more than 340 million children and adolescents between 5 and 19 years are overweight or obese.