Maternal perceptions of overweight preschool children

Journal Name: 
Pediatrics
Authors: 
Baughcum,A.E.
Chamberlin,L.A.
Deeks,C.M.
Powers,S.W.
Whitaker,R.C.
Abstract: 
CONTEXT: Childhood obesity is a major public health problem, and prevention efforts should begin early in life and involve parents. OBJECTIVE: To determine what factors are associated with mothers' failure to perceive when their preschool children are overweight. DESIGN: Cross-sectional survey. SETTINGS: Offices of private pediatricians and clinics of the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC). PARTICIPANTS: Six hundred twenty-two mothers with children 23 to 60 months of age. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Maternal demographic variables, maternal self-reported height and weight, and children's measured height and weight. Mothers were asked whether they considered themselves or their children overweight. RESULTS: Forty-five percent of mothers had low education (high school degree or less) and 55% had high education (some college or more). Obesity (body mass index: >/=30 kg/m(2)) was more common in the low education group of mothers (30% vs 17%), and their children tended to be more overweight (weight-for-height percentile: >/=90th; 19% vs 14%). Ninety-five percent of obese mothers believed that they were overweight, with no difference between education groups. However, 79% of mothers failed to perceive their overweight child as overweight. Among the 99 mothers with overweight children, low maternal education was associated with a failure to perceive their children as overweight after adjusting for low family income (
12
2000
Volume: 
106
Pages: 
1380-1386
Keywords: 
60, Adult, Anthropometry, better, Body Mass Index, Chi-Square Distribution, Child, Child,Preschool, CPRG, Cross-Sectional Studies, education, Educational Status, epidemiology, factors, Family, Feeding Behavior, Female, Health, Health Knowledge,Attitudes,Practice, hospital, Human, Income, Infant, Kentucky, Life, Logistic Models, medical, Medicine, Middle Aged, Mother-Child Relations, Mothers, Nutrition, Obesity, Odds Ratio, Ohio, Overweight, Parents, Pediatrics, Perception, perceptions, Population Surveillance, Poverty, prevention & control, psychology, Public Health, Questionnaires, race, Self Concept, Smoking, Socioeconomic Factors, Support,Non-U.S.Gov't, survey, understanding, Universities, women