Dr. O'Connor's Study Highlights Parents Unreliability in Reporting Children's Data.
At The American College of Sports Medicine’s 57th Annual Meeting in Baltimore, HHP faculty Dr. O'Connor, and his co-author Dr. Joseph Gugenheim, presented their research which showed that parents often misperceive their children’s height and weight. One in five obese children - 21 percent - would not be identified as obese when using parent-reported data.
The ACSM issued a press release highlighting the study and its implications on children's health, below is an excerpt:
The lesson, according to O’Connor and Gugenheim, is that those who work with young patients should take parent’s estimates of their children’s height and weight with a grain of salt.
“Trust, but verify,” O’Connor recommended. “When it counts—as in diagnosing obesity or calculating dosages—it’s best to measure carefully.” Giving parents the benefit of the doubt, Gugenheim noted that even a carefully observant parent can underestimate the height or weight of a fast-growing child.