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Child obesity cut-offs as derived from parental perceptions: cross-sectional questionnaire

Black, JA; Park, M; Gregson, J; Falconer, CL; White, B; Kessel, AS; Saxena, S; ... Kinra, S; + view all (2015) Child obesity cut-offs as derived from parental perceptions: cross-sectional questionnaire. British Journal of General Practice , 65 (633) e234-e239. 10.3399/bjgp15X684385. Green open access

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Abstract

BACKGROUND: Overweight children are at an increased risk of premature mortality and disease in adulthood. Parental perceptions and clinical definitions of child obesity differ, which may lessen the effectiveness of interventions to address obesity in the home setting. The extent to which parental and objective weight status cut-offs diverge has not been documented. AIM: To compare parental perceived and objectively derived assessment of underweight, healthy weight, and overweight in English children, and to identify sociodemographic characteristics that predict parental under- or overestimation of a child’s weight status. DESIGN AND SETTING: Cross-sectional questionnaire completed by parents linked with objective measurement of height and weight by school nurses, in English children from five regions aged 4–5 and 10–11 years old. METHOD: Parental derived cut-offs for under- and overweight were derived from a multinomial model of parental classification of their own child’s weight status against school nurse measured body mass index (BMI) centile. RESULTS: Measured BMI centile was matched with parent classification of weight status in 2976 children. Parents become more likely to classify their children as underweight when they are at the 0.8th centile or below, and overweight at the 99.7th centile or above. Parents were more likely to underestimate a child’s weight if the child was black or South Asian, male, more deprived, or the child was older. These values differ greatly from the BMI centile cut-offs for underweight (2nd centile) and overweight (85th). CONCLUSION: Clinical and parental classifications of obesity are divergent at extremes of the weight spectrum.

Type: Article
Title: Child obesity cut-offs as derived from parental perceptions: cross-sectional questionnaire
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.3399/bjgp15X684385
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.3399/bjgp15X684385
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © British Journal of General Practice. This is the published version of record. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: body mass index; child; cross-sectional studies; female; humans; male; obesity; parents; preschool; primary care
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > UCL GOS Institute of Child Health
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > UCL GOS Institute of Child Health > Population, Policy and Practice Dept
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1510698
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