Girls Recognize Weight Problems Before Moms

weigh in(Ivanhoe Newswire) -- Mothers often get a bad rap for putting too much pressure on their young daughters about their weight.

That might be unjustified. According to a new study out of Columbus Children's Hospital in Ohio, moms are more likely to see their daughters as slimmer than they really are, rather than heavier. Girls, on the other hand, are pretty good at correctly assessing their own weight.

Researchers questioned mother/daughter pairs about the daughters' bodies. The girls in the study, who were ages 9 and 10, provided realistic responses. Those with low and normal body mass indexes (BMIs) were generally satisfied with their size, while those with higher BMIs knew they were overweight.

The moms, however, tended to think low-and normal-body-weight daughters were too thin and overweight daughters were about right.

The mothers' own BMI didn't come into play, except among the higher BMI girls. Girls with higher BMIs who had overweight mothers were more likely to be dissatisfied with their own weight.

"With childhood obesity rates on the rise in the United States, combating this growing trend needs to start at an early age," reports Robert Murray, M.D., director of the Center for Healthy Weight and Nutrition at Children's Hospital and a faculty member at The Ohio State University College of Medicine. "This study showed us that there is a significant difference between the perceptions of mothers and daughters that may constrain our efforts as health care providers to address obesity early in the child's life."

SOURCE: Columbus Children's Hospital press release