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Gac Med Mex. 2010 May-Jun;146(3):165-8.

[Mothers' perception of their children's obesity].

[Article in Spanish]

Author information

  • 1Unidad de Investigación Clínics y Epidemiológica, Hospital General Regional 20, México.



Assess mother's perceptions of their children's weight.


Cross-sectional study. We included demographic variables and children's height and weight and used a series of sketches to assess the mother's perception. Among overweight or obese children we collected blood samples to determine glucose, cholesterol and triglycerides levels.


Of the 525 children, 52% were female with an average age of 6.4 +/- 3.2 years. Thirteen and 17% of participating children were overweight or obese. There was a higher frequency of obese children if the mother was obese. Fifty seven percent of the mothers correctly assessed their children's weight. Among 357 children with normal weight children, 64% of the mothers perceived their child weight as normal. Of the 72 overweight children, only 29% believed that their child was overweight and of the 90 obese children, 52% of mothers perceived them as obese. Mothers of male children significantly perceived a higher weight for their children than mothers with female children (56 versus 45.6%, p = 0.001). Among overweight and obese children, the frequency of hyperglycemia, hypercholesterolemia and hipertriglyceridemia was 9, 2.3 and 3.8% respectively.


Half of the mothers that we surveyed failed to perceive their child's weight. A better understanding of how mothers perceive the problem of excess weight in their children is needed in order to achieve success in preventive interventions of childhood obesity.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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