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Many Obese Kids Think They're Thinner Than They Are

They won't take steps to reach a healthy weight if they don't see the problem, experts note

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Dr. David Katz is director of the Yale University Prevention Research Center. He said: "There is well-established variation, over time and across cultures, in perceptions of ideal weight. But that variation is about appearance, not health."

Unfortunately, obesity in children is a major cause of serious health problems, from type 2 diabetes to fatty liver disease, he noted.

"We need to fix this and raise awareness among all ethnic groups about the important health threats posed by childhood obesity. But we have to proceed with caution. We should empower people to take constructive action, not confront them with blame or impose any sense of shame," Katz said.

Data for the report came from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 2005-2012.

Meanwhile, a recent report published in the journal Pediatrics found that the waist sizes of America's kids and teens appear to have stopped spreading.

According to the University of Minnesota researchers who conducted that study, the proportion of children and teens aged 2 to 18 who were obese, based on waist size, held steady at nearly 18 percent from 2002 to 2012.

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