Myths about Parental Misperception of Children’s Weight

myth-vs-reality-300x199In a paper published by our own Perez and Ball (2015) in Childhood Obesity, seven myths regarding parents’ misperceptions of children’s weights are discussed.

Briefly, here are some of the myths (or at least my interpretation of them):

1. Myth: Misperception = unawareness. Reality: Misperception is unique in that it implies both unawareness and perception of an incorrect weight status attributed to children.

2. Myth: If parents knew it was a problem, they’d do something about it. Reality: Awareness is a necessary but insufficient precursor to action; those parents who accurately perceive children’s weight status are not more likely to promote children’s healthier lifestyle behaviors.

3. Myth: Parents’ misperceptions represent a personal failure. Reality: Normalization of overweight & obesity may influence parent’s reluctance (knowingly or unknowingly) to use terms such as “obese”, particularly given the associated stigma.



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