Nearly eight in 10 overweight American children believe that their weight is “about right,” leading them to continue the bad habits that are contributing to their obesity, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warned in a report Thursday.

The agency found that 76 percent of “overweight youth,” and 41 percent of “obese youth” consider themselves to be the right weight, an unhealthy misconception.

Boys were the worst: 81 percent said they were OK. Some 71 percent of overweight girls agreed.

The problem with the misconception is a simple one, said CDC. “Accurate self-perception of weight status has been linked to appropriate weight control behaviors in youth. Understanding the prevalence of weight status misperception among U.S. children and adolescents may help inform public health interventions,” said the agency in reviewing health statistics from 2005-2012.

Overall, about 17 percent of children and adolescents are obese and have been the target of first lady Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move” initiative.

Paul Bedard, the Washington Examiner's "Washington Secrets" columnist, can be contacted at