Parental Perception of Child’s Body Weight: A Systematic Review
- 925 Downloads
If a parent does not accurately perceive their child’s overweight or obese status and potential health risk as a result of excess weight, they may be less inclined to encourage their child’s participation in healthy behaviors. This study systematically reviewed the past 5 years of literature regarding the accuracy of parental perception of their child’s weight status. PubMed, PsychInfo, and CINAHL databases from 2006 to 2012 were searched using key words related to parental perception and childhood overweight. Quantitative studies which assessed parental perception of their child’s body weight with height and weight measurements of the child (2–18 years of age) within the United States were included. Studies were excluded if the family was preparing to or currently receiving any kind of treatment or intervention for weight loss/management. Eligible articles which assessed and reported parental perception of their child’s body weight. Thirteen studies met the criteria for inclusion. Underestimation of obesity ranged from 13.3 to 100 % of parents of children with a BMI ≥95th percentile. In six of the studies, >70 % of parents of overweight children (≥85–<95th BMI percentile) underestimated their child’s weight status. Factors that affected accuracy of parental perception included word versus image classification, the child’s sex and age, ethnicity, and parental health literacy. To fully engage children who may be at risk for weight-related diseases in programs targeting physical inactivity and childhood obesity, efforts to improve accuracy of parental perception of their child’s weight are greatly needed.
KeywordsWeight perception Body weight Childhood obesity Parental perception Child weight
- Guo, S. S., & Chumlea, W. C. (1999). Tracking of body mass index in children in relation to overweight in adulthood. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 70(1), 145S–148S.Google Scholar
- National Football League. (2007). NFL Play 60, The NFL movement for an active generation. Retrieved October 11, 2013 from http://www.nfl.com/play60.
- National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. (2007). We Can! Ways to enhance children’s activity & nutrition. Retrieved October 11, 2013 from http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/public/heart/obesity/wecan/.
- Let’s Move! (2010). America’s move to raise a healthier generation. Retrieved October 11, 2013 from http://www.letsmove.gov/.
- Ogden, C. L., & Flegal, K. M. (2010). Changes in terminology for childhood overweight and obesity. National Health Statistics Report, 25, 1–5.Google Scholar
- Perrin, E. M., Jacobson Vann, J. C., Benjamin, J. T., Skinner, A. C., Wegner, S., & Ammerman, A. S. (2010). Use of a pediatrician toolkit to address parental perception of children’s weight status, nutrition, and activity behaviors. Academic Pediatrics, 10(4), 274–281. doi: 10.1016/j.acap.2010.03.006.CrossRefPubMedCentralPubMedGoogle Scholar
- Wald, E. R., Ewing, L. J., Cluss, P., Goldstrohm, S., Cipriani, L., Colborn, D. K., et al. (2007). Parental perception of children’s weight in a paediatric primary care setting. Child: Care, Health and Development, 33(6), 738–743.Google Scholar