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J Biosoc Sci. 2011 May;43(3):369-78. doi: 10.1017/S0021932011000022. Epub 2011 Feb 10.

Caregivers' attitudes and practices: influence on childhood body weight.

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  • 1Department of Internal Medicine, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul, Division of Endocrinology, Hospital de ClĂ­nicas de Porto Alegre, Porto Alegre, RS, Brazil.


Childhood excess weight is probably associated with, or reflected in, parental attitudes. The objective of this study was to study the relationships between childhood excess weight and parental attitudes. The study subjects were 53 boys and 56 girls, aged 6-10, regularly attending schools in Porto Alegre, south Brazil, and one of their parents or caregivers. Attitudes of the parents or caregivers were assessed by the Child Feeding Questionnaire (CFD). Weight and height of the children were measured, parents self-reported their weight and height and body mass indexes were calculated for both. The WHO criteria for overweight and obesity were used for the adults. The CDC criteria for overweight and risk for overweight were used for the corresponding children. Boys presented excess weight more often than girls. The parents of children with excess weight showed higher scores for perceived child weight, concern about child weight, restriction and monitoring. In logistic regression, excess weight in children was associated with perceived child weight, restriction and male sex; pressure to eat was negatively associated with excess BMI. In Porto Alegre, south Brazil, excess body weight in children aged 6-10 is associated with parental perceived child weight and concern about it, monitoring and restriction; being a boy increases the odds of being overweight.

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