The Importance of Parental Beliefs and Support for Physical Activity and Body Weights of Children: A Population-based Analysis.

University of Alberta. .
Canadian journal of public health. Revue canadienne de santé publique (Impact Factor: 1.02). 01/2012; 103(4):e277-81.
Source: PubMed


To determine whether parental beliefs and support for physical activity (PA) are associated with normal-weight and overweight children's self-reported PA and body weight using a population-based approach.
We analyzed cross-sectional survey data from 6,585 students and their parents in Alberta, Canada, collected in 2008 and 2010. Parental beliefs and support were collected through questions on "care about staying fit", "encourage PA" and "engage in PA with their child". Children's PA was self-reported. Body mass index was calculated from measured height and weight. We applied random effects models to assess: 1) the association of parental beliefs and support with children's PA; 2) differences in the associations for normal-weight and overweight children; 3) the association of parental beliefs and support with overweight.
Parental care, encouragement, and engagement in PA were independently and positively associated with PA among both normal-weight and overweight children. Relative to children whose parents encouraged them "quite a lot", those whose parents encouraged them "very much" were 22% less likely to be overweight (OR=0.78, 95% CI: 0.68-0.89).
Health promotion strategies that target parents to encourage and engage in PA with their children may increase activity levels and reduce overweight among children.

12 Reads
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Parental influences are essential to the behaviours and physical activity of their children. Our study aimed to determine if parental beliefs and support are associated with children's pedometer measured physical activity levels on school days and weekend days. In the spring of 2009 and 2011, we analyzed cross-sectional data from 1,355 grade five students and parents in 30 schools in Alberta, Canada. Parents reported how much they care about exercising, how much they encourage their child to be physically active, and how frequently they engage in physical activities with their child. Physical activity was assessed from step counts obtained from time-stamped pedometers collected over nine consecutive days. Increased parental encouragement was positively associated with boys' and girls' physical activity on school days (Boys: beta = 1373, 95% CI: 606, 2139; Girls: beta = 632, 95% CI: 108, 1155) and girls' physical activity on weekend days (beta = 997, 95% CI: 130, 1864). Increased parental care was positively associated with boys' physical activity on weekend days (beta = 1381, 95% CI: 85, 2676). Increased parental support and engagement was associated with an additional 632--1381 steps/day for children in this study. Parental care, encouragement and engagement are associated with physical activity levels of children 10--11 years of age. Policy makers and researchers should consider the importance of targeting parents when designing strategies to promote physical activity in children. This is particularly relevant to weekends and holidays when children's activity levels are low.
    Full-text · Article · Dec 2013 · BMC Public Health
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Objectives: This study investigated the relationship between parental concern about child weight and weight-related child behaviors, parenting practices, and household characteristics. Methods: Parent-child dyads (N=421) enrolled in a randomized, controlled obesity prevention trial were evaluated at baseline. Results: Parental concern regarding child weight was associated with greater use of restrictive and monitoring feeding practices and lower total child energy intake. Conclusions: Parents expressing greater concern about child weight were more likely to report engaging in strategies to regulate their child's dietary intake, some of which may inadvertently have negative consequences. Intervention strategies that activate parental concern about child weight should include guidance and support for engaging in feeding practices that support healthful child eating patterns and growth.
    Full-text · Article · May 2014
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Purpose: To analyze the practice of physical activity among children and adolescents with visual impairments (VI), regarding the possible influence of parental support and perceived barriers. Methods: Twenty-two young people with VIs (10 + 2.74 years old) and one of each of their parents were evaluated. They responded to the Physical Activity Questionnaire for Older Children (PAQ-C), Baecke Questionnaire, the Parental Support Scale and a questionnaire about perceived barriers to physical activity. The independent samples t-test, pearson correlation test and chi-square test were performed. Results: Blind young people showed lower physical activity levels. There were significant correlations both between parents' physical activity and the support offered to children and between the PAQ-C results and the importance given by young people to physical activity, but only for those aged between 8 and 10 years old. The main perceived barriers were lack of security, motivation, professional training and information about available physical activity programs. Conclusion: The influence of parental support seems to be an important factor in the adoption of a physically active lifestyle for young people with VI. Parents and children should have more information about the benefits and opportunities of physical activity. Implications for Rehabilitation Young people with visual impairment should be encouraged by parents to practice physical activity. More information should be provided on the benefits of physical activity to both parents and children. Professional training should be available to help support this group become more active.
    No preview · Article · May 2014 · Disability and Rehabilitation
Show more