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Bol Asoc Med P R. 2008 Apr-Jun;100(2):33-8.

Perception of parents regarding their children's weight.

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  • 1Department of Pediatrics, Universidad Central del Caribe School of Medicine and Ramon Ruiz Arnau Hospital, Bayamon, PR.



The prevalence of overweight and obesity in 2003 was 63.6% in P.R. and 60.1% in USA. An overweight school-aged child with an obese parent has over 70% chance of being obese in young adulthood.


To study perceptions of parents about their children's weight and to determine which factors are associated with parent's failure to perceive when their children are overweight.


Cross sectional survey, the sample was population of children and their parents, selected by availability, between 4-12 years old in elementary schools (private and public schools), N=234. The instrument was a self-administered questionnaire of 23 questions. SSPS version 10.0 was used for analysis with significance of p<0.05.


51% of parents perceived themselves overweight while they perceived their children in adequate weight (62%), so they don't get professional help. There's no significant difference between genders and schools. The study revealed that children's weight follows the role modeling of their parents (p<0.001). In BMI curve (>85%) showed that 84.3% children have at least one parent with overweight (ow) or obesity (ob) while 15.7% children have no parent with ow/ob (p<0.05). Study showed that 33% of parents do nothing about their children's weight. Parents consider themselves to be responsible for childhood obesity.


The majority of the parents does not perceive their children at risk of becoming overweight or be overweight, so they do not get help early.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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