Objective: Extensive evidence suggests that children and adolescents often inaccurately perceive their body size. However, the extent of this misperception is unclear. This paper describes the agreement between children's actual weight and the perception of body size (self-reported and maternally reported) and the association of actual weight with self-reported body satisfaction. Methods: In a population-based cohort study of 3,408 children aged 9 to 10 years, we assessed the children's self-perception and ideal perception of their body size with the Children's Body Image Scale. Maternal perception of offspring body size was assessed with the question “How would you describe your child at the moment?” Children's height and weight were measured. Results: Children tended to rate themselves toward average proportions; e.g., 83.0% of 499 children with overweight/obesity perceived themselves as less heavy then they were. Of those who underestimated their body size, most (79.2%) had a desire to be thinner; all of the children who correctly recognized their overweight/obesity had such a desire. Conclusions: Despite the misperception of body size, the majority of children with overweight/obesity indicated dissatisfaction with their body size, suggesting more self-awareness than would be assumed based on the self-perception assessment of body size alone.

doi.org/10.1002/oby.21934, hdl.handle.net/1765/108079
Obesity: a research journal
Generation R Study Group

Leppers, I. (Iris), Tiemeier, H., Swanson, S., Verhulst, F., Jaddoe, V., Franco, O., & Jansen, P. (2017). Agreement between Weight Status and Perceived Body Size and the Association with Body Size Satisfaction in Children. Obesity: a research journal, 25(11), 1956–1964. doi:10.1002/oby.21934