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Mothers cannot tell their toddlers are overweight, they think they're just right, says study

Researchers found that mothers whose children are overweight often see them as having no weight problem at all and believe their kids to be of normal body size, says a new study looking at perception.

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Mothers find it hard to recognize their child as overweight, a study says. (STR/AFP/Getty Images)

Mothers of overweight children believe their toddlers are normal weight, according to a new study on the perception of mothers of their babies.

Most mothers said they were happy with their child's weight despite the extra pounds, with about 90 percent believing their child to be thinner than in reality.

Those with underweight children recognized that their child needed to add extra weight.

“We live in this culture where people perceive overweight or chubby toddlers to be healthy infants or toddlers, and that’s been a social norm,” said lead author Erin Hager of the University of Maryland School of Medicine in Baltimore, according to CBS News.

“We also live in a culture where there are so many overweight kids, so the overweight body type is becoming the norm.”

The study looked at 281 low-income, African-American mothers with children between 13 and 30 months-old, about 30 percent of whom were considered overweight.

The mothers were asked to select a silhouette that they believed showed the shape of their baby.

"Most of the moms were inaccurate in knowing their child's true body size, but were highly satisfied with their child's size," Hager said, reported WebMd.

"Those who were not satisfied with their child's size typically wanted their kids to be bigger. This is not good if the child is already at a healthy weight or overweight."

The study authors were looking at whether income, race and education level were factors in determining the perception of a child's weight.

According to Reuters about 17 percent, or 12.5 million American children are considered obese.

The new findings appear in the journal Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/health/120509/mothers-cannot-tell-their-toddlers-are-overweight-they-think-theyre-just