A new study found that parents often see their overweight children as "healthy."
The study, published in the journal Pediatrics, surveyed parents between 2005 and 2008, comparing the results with previous data taken from 1988 to 1994. Mothers in particular were more likely to view overweight children as being healthy, as were low-income parents and African-Americans.
The study authors report that parents compared their children to their peers to determine what was healthy, which suggests that being overweight is on the rise in young Americans.
"As the prevalence of pediatric obesity has tripled within decades, the socially accepted ideal body weight may also be shifting accordingly," Dr. Jian Zhang, the author of the study, said. "At a certain point, if no effective strategies are taken now to reverse this trend, all kids are obese, and they continuously carry the extra weight and the risk of various health problems into adulthood."