Parental perceptions of overweight in 3-5 y olds

S. Carnell, C. Edwards, H. Croker, D. Boniface, J. Wardle

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

198 Scopus citations

Abstract

OBJECTIVE: To assess the accuracy of parents' perceptions of their 3 to 5 y old children's weight status in a large UK sample. METHOD: Parental perception and concern about child weight, demographic variables, and children's height and weight were obtained for 564 parent-child dyads. RESULTS: Only 1.9% of parents of overweight children and 17.1% of parents of obese children described their child as overweight. The odds of parents perceiving the child as overweight were increased for overweight (2.7; 95% CI 0.4, 16.5) and obese (28.5; 7.1, 115.4) compared with normal weight children, but were not associated with parental weight or with any demographic factors. Although few parents perceived their overweight children as overweight, more (66.2%) expressed concern about their overweight child becoming overweight in the future. Odds of concern were progressively higher for overweight (2.5; 1.6, 3.9) and obese children (4.6; 2.2, 9.7), and were also higher for parents who were themselves overweight (1.9; 1.2, 2.9) or obese (2.5; 1.3, 4.8). CONCLUSION: These findings suggest that parents of 3-5 y olds show poor awareness of their child's current weight status. Reframing discussions in terms of preventing future overweight may be an effective way to engage parents.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)353-355
Number of pages3
JournalInternational Journal of Obesity
Volume29
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2005

Keywords

  • Childhood obesity
  • Maternal perceptions
  • Parents
  • Perceived weight
  • Preschool

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Nutrition and Dietetics

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    Carnell, S., Edwards, C., Croker, H., Boniface, D., & Wardle, J. (2005). Parental perceptions of overweight in 3-5 y olds. International Journal of Obesity, 29(4), 353-355. https://doi.org/10.1038/sj.ijo.0802889