Parental Influences on Child Weight: Perception, Willingness to Change, and Barriers | OMICS International | Abstract
ISSN: 2165-7904

Journal of Obesity & Weight Loss Therapy
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Research Article

Parental Influences on Child Weight: Perception, Willingness to Change, and Barriers

White DA1,2*, Rofey DL3, Kriska AM4, Venditti EM3, Gibbs BB2, Gallagher JD2 and Jakicic JM2
1The Children’s Mercy Hospitals, Ward Family Heart Center, Kansas City, USA
2Department of Health and Physical Activity, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, USA
3Department of Psychiatry, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, USA
4Department of Epidemiology, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, USA
Corresponding Author : David A. White
PhD, Children’s Mercy Hospital
Ward Family Heart Center, 2401 Gillham Rd
Kansas City, MO 64108, USA
Tel: 816-760- 5583
Fax: 816-855-1745
E-mail: [email protected]
Received: December 17, 2015; Accepted: January 04, 2016; Published: January 07, 2016
Citation: White DA, Rofey DL, Kriska AM, Venditti EM, Gibbs BB, et al. (2016) Parental Influences on Child Weight: Perception, Willingness to Change, and Barriers. J Obes Weight Loss Ther 6:293. doi:10.4172/2165-7904.1000293
Copyright: © 2016 White DA, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.


Background: Although parents are primary to development of obese genic behaviors, many parents do not perceive their child’s obesity as problematic and are not ready to make changes to address their child’s weight. The purpose of the study is to examine relationships between parental perception of child weight, parental readiness to change behaviors, and barriers to behavior change. Methods: A sample of low-socioeconomic and minority parents of 6-12 year old children who are overweight or obese completed questionnaires on perception of their child’s weight, stage of readiness to change behaviors for their child’s weight (SOC), and barriers to changing child weight control behaviors. Parents were blinded to the purpose of the study. Child weight status was categorized ‘overweight’ (BMI ≤85th-95th percentile) or ‘obese’ (BMI ≥95th percentile). Results: Of the 48 parent-child dyads, 77.1% of parents underestimated their child’s weight status and 54.2% perceived their child as normal weight. Older (p=0.045) and married parents (p=0.025) were more likely to perceive their child as overweight. Accurate parental perception was significantly associated with advanced stage of change (SOC; r=0.358, p=0.012). Conclusions: Parents of overweight or obese children underestimated their child’s weight status. Parental perception of child weight was associated with the parent’s SOC for their child’s weight.