The study shows that mothers do not have a realistic idea of their child’s weight and many cling to the notion that chubby babies are still healthy babies.
The study was conducted on approximately 280 low-income women in Baltimore, age 18 to 46; 72 percent of the women were overweight or obese themselves.
“A long time ago, it was OK to value a chubby baby when kids were underweight and we had potato famines and what not. It was a sign you’re doing well for yourself,” said Erin Hager of the University of Maryland School of Medicine, according to Reuters.
Hagar works to inform Baltimore area, low-income women about child obesity in a local clinic. Obesity affects nearly 12.5 million children in America, ages 2 through 19.
The U.S. Center for Disease Control reports one in seven low-income children are considered obese. These alarming statistics have led to national initiatives such as First Lady Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move” campaign.
The study asked the women to assess their child’s body weight according to pictures of seven diaper-clad toddlers. Nearly 70 percent of the women were wrong in assessing their child’s body weight; more alarming, 71.5 percent of these women were satisfied with their child’s weight.
Among the moms who were dissatisfied, the team found more than 20 percent of mothers of healthy weight toddlers and many of the mothers of the overweight toddlers wanted their kids to be bigger, Hager said.
Another study forecasts the U.S. obesity trend will see no end. The study, released Monday, predicts that by 2030, 42 percent of adults will be obese.
This trend, which predicts adults becoming even more overweight, by nearly 100 pounds, has a great deal to do with child obesity. “Half of severely obese adults were obese as children, and they put on more pounds as they grew up,” said obesity specialist Dr. William Dietz of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, according to the Associated Press.
“We still have a very serious problem,” said Dietz.