Parents Don’t Believe BMI Tests or Doctors Who Say Kids Are Fat

More than half of parents who receive their child’s BMI report card don’t trust it, study finds.

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Doctors can’t convince parents that their kids are obese, according to a new study of 109 moms and dads. Fifty-three percent of parents refused to believe their children’s BMI report cards accurately reflected their weights—whether their BMIs were overweight, underweight, or normal. And a mere 13 percent of parents whose children were deemed overweight by BMI report cards were galvanized into changing their diets or activity habits. The rest were decidedly unmoved.

Parents who receive BMI report cards “may not accurately interpret the information they receive,” according to the study. “As more children and adolescents in the United States become overweight, fewer parents may recognize their child as being overweight or obese.”

Despite lingering concerns that body mass index, or BMI, is not always a robust measure of health, physicians tend to agree that every child should have his or her BMI assessed each year. BMI…

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