When do mothers think their child is overweight?
Sommaire de l'article
Objective:To quantify how overweight children have to be for their mothers to classify them as overweight and to express concern about future overweight, and to investigate the adiposity cues in children that mothers respond to.Design:Cross-sectional.Subjects:A total of 531 children from the Gateshead Millennium Study cohort at 6-8 years and their mothers.Measurements:In the mother: responses to two questions concerning the child’s adiposity; height; weight; educational qualifications; and economic status. In the child: height; weight; waist circumference; skinfold thicknesses; bioelectrical impedance; and bone frame measurements.Results:The body mass index (BMI) at which half the mothers classify their child as overweight was 21.3 (in the obese range for children of this age). The BMI at which half the mothers were concerned about their child becoming overweight in the future was 17.1 (below the overweight range). Waist circumference and skinfolds contributed most to mothers’ responses. Although BMI and fat scores were important predictors individually, they did not contribute independently once waist circumference and skinfolds (their most visible manifestations) were included in the regression equations. Mothers were less likely to classify girls as overweight. Mothers with higher BMIs were less likely to classify their child as overweight, but were more likely to be concerned about future overweight.Conclusion:Health promotion efforts directed at parents of young primary school children might better capitalise on their concern about future overweight in their child than on current weight status, and focus on mothers’ response to more visible characteristics than the BMI.International Journal of Obesity advance online publication, 11 January 2011; doi:10.1038/ijo.2010.260.