Korean J Obes.  2006 Mar;15(1):37-43.

The Parental Control Over Their Child's Weight among Elementary School Children Being Overweight or Obese

Affiliations
  • 1Department of family Medicine, Inje Medical school, Inje Univerwity, Korea. fmlky@dreamwiz.com

Abstract

BACKGROUND: The preadolescencence is an important period to prevent adolescent obesity because of a higher risk of being obese adults in adolescents. Therefore, the purpose of our study was to examine parental perception of their child's weight-related problems, and parental control over their child's weight among elementary school children being overweight or obese.
METHODS
397 elementary school children being overweight or obese and their parents were enrolled for the study in May, 2003 from three elementary schools in Kimhae. The body mass index (BMI) of children were calculated using their measured height and weight. Definition of children's overweight or obesity were based on the age and gender-specific Korea children's BMI standards (1999). The parental perception of their child's weight status and weight-related problems, and parental control over their child's weight were surveyed using a questionnaire.
RESULTS
84% of children being overweight or obese were overweight or obese in the last year. 93% of parents perceived their child's weight as overweight, and 82% and 78% of them replied their child's weight caused appearance problems and health problems, respectively. 57% of parents tried to control their child's weight and they used exercise (40%), diet (35%), and school program for weight losing methods. The most frequent reason of why parents controlled over their child's weight was 'worry about becoming obese adult' (77%, n = 173/226). In contrast, the most frequent reason of why parents did not control over their child's weight was 'expectation of spontaneous weight loss with growth' (51%, n = 87/171).
CONCLUSION
Although parents of children being overweight or obese significantly concerned about their child's weight status and weight-related problems, many of them expected their child's weight would be lost with growth. They should have informed about the difficulty of spontaneous weight loss among children being overweight or obese.

Keyword

Childhood obesity; Elementary school children; Parental control; Weight loss
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