How pediatricians can improve diet and activity for overweight preschoolers: a qualitative study of parental attitudes.
ABSTRACT This study sought feedback from parents of overweight preschoolers on terms for overweight and treatment strategies pediatricians could use to help parents improve diet and activity for their children.
Twenty-three parents of 21 children aged 2 to 6 years and between the 85th and 94th percentile body mass index participated in focus groups conducted by a pediatrician to assess 1) terms and health risks that motivate parents, 2) barriers that prevent adoption of recommended behaviors, and 3) recommendations for pediatricians on strategies to help parents improve child diet and activity.
With regard to weight status, parents preferred the terms overweight and obese as long as pediatricians provided rationale for the classification. Parents recommended that pediatricians avoid colloquial terms to describe weight status. With regard to American Academy of Pediatrics recommendations for weight management in overweight preschoolers, parents were reluctant to restrict 100% fruit juice, needed specific strategies to increase vegetable consumption, and said limiting screen time would be difficult, especially when busy or during inclement weather. Despite identification of barriers, parents reported confidence in adopting all recommended behaviors except vegetable intake if given the rationale for the recommendation and strategies for implementation.
Parents recommended that pediatricians speak clearly about weight status, explain rationale for concern, relate that concern to family history, and provide specific advice and treatment recommendations.
SourceAvailable from: I. Peláez-Ballestas[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Introduction. There are not enough studies about the barriers to lose weight from the perspective of children and their parents. Methods. Children and adolescents diagnosed with overweight/obesity in the Department of Endocrinology and their parents were invited to participate in a series of focus group discussions (FGD). Twenty-nine children 10-16 years old and 22 parents participated in 7 focus groups; 2 mothers and 2 adolescents participated in depth interviews. All interviews were recorded, transcribed, and analyzed through grounded theory. Results. Parents went to the hospital only when their children presented any obesity complication; for them, overweight was not a health problem. Parents referred to lack of time to supervise about a healthy diet and exercise; besides, the same parents, relatives, friends, and the mass media encourage the consumption of junk food. Children accepted eating a lot, not doing exercise, skipping meals, and not understanding overweight consequences. Both, parents and children, demanded support to do the time recommended for exercise inside the schools. They also suggested getting information from schools and mass media (TV) about overweight consequences, exercise, and healthy food by health workers; they recommended prohibiting announcements about junk food and its sale. Conclusions. The barriers detected were lack of perception of being overweight, its identification as a disease and its consequences, lack of time to supervise a healthy lifestyle, and a big social influence to eat junk food.Journal of obesity 01/2014; 2014:575184. DOI:10.1155/2014/575184