Childhood obesity: Facts and parental perceptions
- Nivine Abbas
- Hiba Rouaiheb
- Jessica Saliba
- Rana El‑Bikai
Affiliations: Department of Public Health, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Balamand, Beirut 1533, Lebanon, Department of Nutritional Sciences, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Balamand, Beirut 1533, Lebanon
- Published online on: November 14, 2023 https://doi.org/10.3892/wasj.2023.215
Copyright : © Abbas
et al. This is an open access article distributed under the
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Commons Attribution License [CC BY 4.0].
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The present study aimed to depict the parental perception of children's weight status and associated health risks. The present study was a cross‑sectional study collecting anthropometric measures among children and data using a parental survey in 2020‑2021 in private elementary schools. A total of 191 subjects were eligible for analysis. The body mass index of the children and parents was calculated. The perceived child weight status was compared to the actual weight status. Parental knowledge of obesity‑related health risks and sources of concerns was assessed using a scoring system. Quantitative variables were reported as average, standard deviation, first and third quartiles. Qualitative variables were reported as frequencies and percentages. Statistical tests were used to assess significance levels, set at P<0.05. More than half of the children were overweight (30%) or obese (25%). However, the parents underestimated their child's weight status (61%) and were unconcerned about them becoming overweight (52%), despite solid knowledge about the related health risks. The maternal weight status was associated with the underestimation of child weight (P=0.0068). Being overweight did not rank high on sources of parental concerns. It is thus suggested that parents need to be made aware of their child's weight status. Efforts are needed to spread awareness about childhood obesity health risks.