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Author Notes:

Correspondence should be addressed to Allison C. Sylvetsky-Meni; asylvets@gwu.edu

All study procedures were reviewed and determined to be exempt human subject research by the Institutional Review Board at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta.

None of the authors have any conflict of interests to report.


Research Funding:

This work was funded by Children's Healthcare of Atlanta.


  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Body Weight
  • Child
  • Child Nutritional Physiological Phenomena
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Georgia
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Humans
  • Life Style
  • Male
  • Parenting
  • Parents
  • Pediatric Obesity
  • Self Concept
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Weight Loss

The impact of parents' categorization of their own weight and their child's weight on healthy lifestyle promoting beliefs and practices


Journal Title:

Journal of Obesity


Volume 2015


, Pages 307381-307381

Type of Work:

Article | Final Publisher PDF


Objective. To evaluate parents' beliefs and practices related to childhood obesity and determine if these are influenced by parent's perception of their own weight or their child's weight. Methods. Parents of obese (n = 689) or normal weight (n = 1122) children 4-15 years in Georgia, USA, were randomly selected to complete a telephone survey. Frequency of child obesity-related perceptions, beliefs, and practices were assessed, stratified by parent-perceived self-weight and child weight status, and compared using Chi-squared tests and multivariate logistic regression. Results. Most parents, regardless of perceived child weight, agreed that child overweight/obesity can cause serious illness (95%) but only one-half believed it was a problem in Georgia. Many (42.4%) failed to recognize obesity in their own children. More parents who perceived their child as overweight versus normal weight reported concern about their child's diet and activity and indicated readiness for lifestyle change. Parents' perception of their own weight had little additional impact. Conclusions. While awareness of child overweight as a modifiable health risk is high, many parents fail to recognize it in their own families and communities, reducing the likelihood of positive lifestyle change. Additional efforts to help parents understand their role in facilitating behavior change and to assist them in identifying at-risk children are required.

Copyright information:

© 2015 Allison C. Sylvetsky-Meni et al.

This is an Open Access work distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/).

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