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HHS HealthBeat (July 18, 2012)

How big is your baby

A mother serving salad to her son.
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From the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, I’m Ira Dreyfuss with HHS HealthBeat.

There are big kids, and too-big kids, and researchers say many moms can’t tell the difference. At the University of Maryland School of Medicine, Dr. Erin Hager had low-income moms of overweight toddlers choose silhouettes that the moms thought represented the size of their child. 

“Ninety-four percent of mothers of overweight toddlers chose a silhouette that was two or more images smaller than their child’s true body size.”

Dr. Hager says mothers of normal-weight toddlers also estimated wrong.

This doesn’t mean toddlers should go on diets. But Hager says mothers do need to watch what their kids eat, whether they’re active enough – and whether they’re big, or right-sized.

The study in Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine was supported by the National Institutes of Health.

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HHS HealthBeat is a production of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. I’m Ira Dreyfuss.

Last revised: July 17, 2012