Article Text

PDF
184 PARENTAL AND CHILD PERCEPTIONS OF CHILDRENS WEIGHT AS A FUNCTION OF ETHNICITY/RACE, GENDER, AND AGE.
  1. M. F. Nota1,
  2. S. M. Franco1,
  3. X. L. Valdes1
  1. 1University of Louisville, Louisville, KY.

Abstract

Background Obesity is prevalent in children of all ages, especially in minorities. Little is known regarding racial/ethnic differences in parental perception of children's weight status. We evaluated parental and self-perception of weight status in Caucasians, African Americans, and Hispanics.

Design/Methods We surveyed the parents of 2- to 17-year-old children at an inner-city clinic. Children's weight status was defined by body mass index as normal (25-75%) or overweight (> 95%). African American, Caucasian, or Hispanic parents were enrolled in blocks of 24 to provide similar numbers of girls and boys, patients 2 to 8 and 9 to 17 years old, and racial/ethnic identification. Parents answered a bilingual questionnaire about how they perceived their child's weight: “underweight,” “just right,” or “overweight,” and if they were concerned about said weight. Children ≥ 9 years identified their own weight status. Chi-square comparison with p < .05 was considered significant.

Results 308 parent-child pairs were enrolled. Parents identified their child's weight status in 75% of cases, with no racial/ethnic differences noted (Table 1). Overall, 24% of overweight children were not identified as such by their parents, more commonly in children under 9 years of age (76%). Hispanic parents were more concerned about their children being overweight than Caucasians or African Americans.

Conclusions Independent of race/ethnicity, parents were able to recognize that their children were overweight (75%) but less in the younger group. Education about their children's weight status, particularly in young children, might prompt parents to institute early, effective interventions to minimize excessive weight gain.

TABLE 1

Results Presented as Numbers/Total (%)

Statistics from Altmetric.com

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.