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Parents with overweight children age two and five years of age did not perceive them as weighing too much.

Journal article
Authors Sara Berggren
Josefine Roswall
Bernt Alm
Stefan Bergman
Jovanna Dahlgren
Gerd Almqvist-Tangen
Published in Acta paediatrica
Volume 107
Issue 6
Pages 1060-1064
ISSN 1651-2227
Publication year 2018
Published at Institute of Clinical Sciences, Department of Pediatrics
Pages 1060-1064
Language en
Subject categories Pediatrics


This study examined whether the parents of children who were overweight at two and five years of age perceived their children as being too heavy and related the findings to sociodemographic factors.The data collection included parental questionnaires and anthropometric data from a longitudinal birth cohort of 2,666 children born in the southwest region of Sweden in 2007-2008.We found that 14.9% and 11.8% of the children were considered overweight or obese at the age of two and five, but 96.4% and 87.1% of their parents perceived their weight to be just about right at these ages. The difference was statistically significant (p<0.001). Parents who were overweight themselves and had a low educational level were associated with a higher probability of misperception: at two years of age the odds ratio was 2.75 (95% confidence interval 1.80-4.21) and at the age of five it was 1.92 (1.24-2.97).Most parents did not perceive that their overweight children weighed too much, but their judgement improved as the child got older. Parents who were overweight or had a low educational level were more likely to misperceive their child's weight. Health professionals need to be aware of this gap in perception. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

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