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Study: Many heavy kids think they're normal weight

Wednesday - 7/23/2014, 6:40am  ET

NEW YORK (AP) -- A new government study says many kids don't have an accurate idea of their own weight, and many of them are obese young people who view themselves as normal.

The report is noteworthy because it comes from a federal survey that not only interviews kids, but weighs and measures them. Some experts say obese children who permanently settle into an unhealthy physique face diabetes and other health problems later in life.

Researchers focused on the responses of more than 6,100 young people, ages 8 through 15, who participated in the survey in 2005 through 2012.

Researchers found that about 30 percent of those surveyed misperceived their weight, with a large majority of heavier kids thinking their weight was normal.

About 34 percent of black and Mexican-American kids misperceived their weight. About 28 percent of white kids did.

That kind of misconception was more common among children in lower-income families than in households with more money.

Scientists also say the findings echo what's been seen in adults.

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027-c-17-(Ed Donahue, AP correspondent)-"future health problems"-AP correspondent Ed Donahue reports about a third of kids surveyed didn't have an accurate idea of their weight. (23 Jul 2014)

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026-v-33-(Ed Donahue, AP correspondent)--A new study says many overweight kids think they are at a normal weight. The AP's Ed Donahue reports. (23 Jul 2014)

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