Most Moms Inaccurately Guess Toddler's Weight

Reported by: Lauren Gawthrop
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Updated: 5/11/2012 7:41 am
A new study finds mothers of overweight toddlers typically have inaccurate perceptions of their child's body size.

University of Maryland researchers studied nearly 300 mother-toddler pairs. Moms were asked to select a silhouette that correctly reflected their child's true body size.

Results show nearly 70 percent of mothers inaccurately assessed their toddler's body size.  Researchers say misperception of a child's size could lead to inappropriate feeding behaviors, like encouraging a healthy-weight child to eat more.

Doctors says parents need to pay attention to their pediatrician's growth chart.

"When you're thinking about a 20-month old being underweight is probably the greatest risk because that has an impact on their cognitive development, as well as their physical and behavioral development. When we think about the kids that are overweight some of them may not proceed to being overweight as school-aged children or adolescents, but they're at greater risk of developing those problems with overweight and obesity," said Leslie Heinberg, Ph.D. of Cleveland Clinic Bariatric & Metabolic Institute.

Complete findings for this study are in the "Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine."
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