Overweight kids don't think they're heavy
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 30 percent of children and teens have misperceptions about their weight. For instance, some children at normal weight find themselves to be too skinny or overweight, and some that are overweight find themselves to be at a normal weight.
Researchers asked U.S. children ages 8 to 15 whether they considered themselves to be “fat or overweight, too thin, or about the right weight.” Of the 30 percent of children that had misperceptions of their weight, the researchers found that 81 percent of overweight boys and 71 percent of overweight girls thought they were about the right weight. In addition, about half of obese boys and a third of obese girls thought they were the right weight. The researchers also found that a higher percentage of children from low-income families had misperceptions about their weight, compared with the children of high- and middle-income families.
This problem isn’t just relegated to children, though. Previous studies have shown that parents also misperceive their children’s weight. One of the researchers noted that a possible reason for the misperception is that as obesity has become more prevalent in the U.S., our notion of what normal weight looks like has also changed.