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Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2012 Apr;166(4):317-22. doi: 10.1001/archpediatrics.2011.1135. Epub 2011 Dec 5.

Parental recall of doctor communication of weight status: national trends from 1999 through 2008.

Author information

  • 1Division of General Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, Department of Pediatrics, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine, 231 MacNider Hall, Chapel Hill, NC 27599-7225, USA. eliana_perrin@med.unc.edu

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To examine time trends in parental reports of health professional notification of childhood overweight over the last decade and to determine the characteristics most associated with such notification.

DESIGN:

Secondary data analysis using χ(2) tests to examine the relationships between multiple factors on the reports of parents and/or caregivers (hereinafter "parents") and logistic regression for multivariate analysis.

SETTING:

National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 1999 through 2008.

PARTICIPANTS:

Parents of 4985 children aged 2 to 15 years with body mass index (BMI) in the 85th percentile or higher based on measured height and weight.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:

Affirmative answer to the following question: "Has a doctor or health professional ever told you that your child is overweight?"

RESULTS:

During 1999 through 2008, 22% of parents of children with BMIs in the 85th percentile or higher reported having been told by a doctor or health professional that their child was overweight; recall of notification was actually more likely among nonwhite and poor children. This percentage increased from 19.4% to 23.2% from the 1999-2004 period and further accelerated in the 2007-2008 period to 29.1%. The time trend persisted in multivariate analyses, with significantly more parents reporting having been told in 2007 through 2008 than in 1999 through 2000.

CONCLUSION:

Fewer than one-quarter of parents of overweight children report having been told that their child was overweight. While reports of notification have increased over the last decade (perhaps because of [1] revised definitions of overweight and obesity, [2] increased concern about children with BMIs in the 85th to 95th sex- and age-specific percentiles, or [3] improved recall by parents), further research is necessary to determine where and why communication of weight status breaks down.

PMID:
22147758
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC3368219
Free PMC Article

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