Wanting to and Doing So: Parental Intent to Change Weight Does Not Translate Into BehaviorRachael W Taylor1*, Deirdre A Brown2, Kim Meredith-Jones1, Anna M Dawson3, Jillian J Haszard4 and Sheila M Williams5
- *Corresponding Author:
- Rachael W Taylor
Department of Medicine
University of Otago, PO Box 56
Dunedin 9054, New Zealand
Email: [email protected]
Received Date: November 19, 2014; Accepted Date: January 11, 2015; Published Date: January 15, 2015
Citation: Taylor RW, Brown DA, Meredith-Jones K, Dawson AM, Haszard JJ, et al. (2015) Wanting to and Doing So: Parental Intent to Change Weight Does Not Translate Into Behavior. J Child Adolesc Behav 3:183 doi:10.4172/2375-4494.1000183
Copyright: © 2015 Taylor RW, 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.
Abstract Objective: Because poor parental recognition of overweight is so common in young children, we sought to determine whether demographics or family behaviors differed in children whose parents were actively trying to reduce excess weight in their child compared with those who were unaware there was an issue. Methods: Parents of 271 overweight (body mass index≥85th) children aged 4-8 years completed questionnaires on demographics, weight, feeding practices, social desirability, dietary intake, and home food availability. Children wore accelerometers over 7 days to measure physical activity/inactivity. Results: 113 parents (41.7%) classified their child as overweight, 96 (35.4%) indicated at least some concern, but only 66 (24.4%) parents were trying to (probably or definitely) change their child’s weight. In total, 56 children met all three criteria. These children were older, heavier and more likely to be female (P<0.001), but did not differ in socioeconomic status (P=0.614), maternal education (P=0.615), or ethnicity (P=0.051), compared to the remaining children. Few differences in feeding practices were observed, except for higher food restriction in those trying to change their child’s weight (P<0.001). These children were significantly less physically active (P=0.033) and more sedentary (P=0.002) than the other children. Despite strong intent to change the diet (P<0.001), this did not translate to differences in home food availability or dietary intake. Social desirability was also not related to efforts to change. Conclusion: Parental awareness of excess weight in young children and attempts to address the issue do not appear to translate into healthier behaviors in the home.