42% of obese kids think their weight is normal

Forty-two percent of obese children and teens think their weight is normal, according to a National Center for Health Statistics report. Among those who are overweight, about three quarters consider themselves to be “about the right weight.”

Half of underweight kids also say they’re normal.

Nearly a third of U.S. children are overweight or obese.

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  1. Michael E. Lopez says:

    Back before my crippling accident, when I had 6% body fat, was fencing 8 hours a week, riding my bicycle 30+ miles a week, and could run three miles in 19 minutes, I was considered *obese*, not just overweight. (BMI of 30.5) I wasn’t a weightlifter — I was a serious cardio athlete who happens to have had a broad frame and legs that were made for something other than toothpicking.

    I have absolutely no respect whatsoever for any study or finding or epidemiological research that rests on such a useless set of definitions. (And not only does this report state that it’s based on “height and weight”, it also cites to the Ogden study which is explicitly based on BMI charts.)

    Frankly, I really do think that the BMI chart itself is an example of unconcious racism — something that “normalizes” the general body types of skinny white people of Southern and Central European extraction. As a half-Viking, half-Mexican, I strenuously object to be measured by the same standards as some wispy ectomorph whom I can benchpress even now in my dilapidated and obviously overweight physical condition.

  2. As someone who went from 245 pounds and a 44 inch waist to 165 pounds and a 31/32 inch waist (took 15 months), and a ton of walking, weights, and modifying the way I eat, it’s not surprising that kids looking at themselves will think they’re normal.

    Normal body fat for males is anywhere from 12-15 percent (to age 50) and for females is 17-22 percent. If you put these kids in a hydrostatic weighing, the percentage of body fat doesn’t lie, period.

    The problem is that kids are starting to develop problems including diabetes, and heart issues by the time they are 25, rather than when they’re 45-50 (I’m 50.5 myself) and my doctor advised me to lose weight to stop taking blood pressure/blood sugar meds (which I have).

    BMI may not be as effective in persons under the age of 18, or for persons who are tall, or muscular, which is why body fat percentage is a better measurement.

    Though if you’re 30 or more percent body fat, you could be considered overweight or obese.

  3. Richard Aubrey says:

    When I was in, Infantry OCS was like a combination of pre-season football practice, hell week in a very tough fraternity, and finals week –but without enough food–and it went on for six months. After that, Airborne school was ridiculously easy. I was 6’2″, 205, and would be considered overweight.
    My father was fastest end in the conference UCONN was in in 1942, 6’1 1/2, 185#. He’d be overweight.
    It may justify another government intrusion, but it won’t be by convincing some guy that his cross-country varsity daughter is overweight.