Mums usually have 'wrong' perception of their toddlers' body size
Washington, May 8 (ANI): Mothers of overweight toddlers usually have inaccurate perceptions of their child's body size, according to a new study.
Feeding behaviours are influenced by perceptions of a child's body size and misperception of a child's size could lead to inappropriate feeding behaviours, such as encouraging a healthy-weight child to eat more, the authors write in their study background.
"Mothers of overweight toddlers were more than 88 percent less likely to accurately perceive their child's body size. ... 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," the authors comment.
Erin R. Hager, Ph.D., of the University of Maryland School of Medicine, and colleagues conducted a study that included 281 mother-toddler pairs recruited from a suburban Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) clinic and an urban paediatric clinic serving predominantly low-income families.
The mean (average) age of the toddlers was 20.2 months and 54.1 percent of them were male. The mothers ranged in age from 18 to 46 years and most (71.9 percent) of them were overweight/obese.
According to the results, nearly 70 percent of mothers were inaccurate in assessing their toddler's body size when selecting a silhouette that correctly reflected their child's true body size.
Overall, 71.5 percent of mothers were satisfied with their toddler's body size, with a greater proportion of mothers of healthy-weight or overweight toddlers likely to be satisfied than mothers of underweight toddlers.
"In conclusion, the majority of mothers were satisfied with their toddler's body size, yet were inaccurate in their perception of their child's actual body size. ... Future studies should examine how parental satisfaction and/or accuracy are related to parenting behaviors including feeding behaviors and encouragement of physical activity," the authors concluded.
The study has been published in the Archives of Pediatrics 'n' Adolescent Medicine, a JAMA Network publication. (ANI)
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