From Fox News Health: When parents think their child is overweight, that may put the kid at increased risk of packing on even more pounds, a new study suggests.
Previous research has found that parents are pretty bad at correctly guessing how much their children weigh. But the current study runs counter to the popular belief that kids might slim down when their mothers and fathers think they're too heavy.
"Generally, parents of healthy weight kids in this study assessed their weight status accurately," said co-author Dr. Eric Robinson of the University of Liverpool in the U.K.
"It may be that once a child is recognized as being overweight, parenting styles change in a way that promotes weight gain - i.e. serving larger meals or concerns over physical overexertion," Robinson added by email.
To see how parents' ideas about children's weight influenced future weight gain for kids, Robinson and co-author Angelina Sutin of Florida State University College of Medicine in Tallahassee examined data on 3,557 Australian children and their parents.