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Revista Española de Salud Pública

On-line version ISSN 2173-9110Print version ISSN 1135-5727


RODRIGUEZ MARTIN, Amelia et al. Parents´Perception of Childhood Overweight and Obesity and Eating Behaviors, Physical Activity and Sedentary Lifestyle of Their Children. Spain. Rev. Esp. Salud Publica [online]. 2012, vol.86, n.5, pp.483-494. ISSN 2173-9110.

Background: Parents often do not perceive their children's excess weight, and therefore not modified their lifestyles. We study how often this actually occurs and whether this perception is associated with differences in dietary habits, physical activity and sedentary in children. Methods: Cross-sectional study of 1620 children aged 3-16 years selected by multi-stage sampling (2008-2010) of which 454 children had excess weight. We studied family anthropometric characteristics, dietary habits, physical activity (adapted questionnaires Cindi/Marathon), and sedentary lifestyle. We analyze the differences in children with normal weight, unperceived and perceived excess weight (chi2 test and ANOVA). Results: Parents receive 34.7% of overweight cases and 72.3% obesity cases of their sons, and a 10.8% and 53,8% respectively in daughters. Obese parents recognize a 54.5% and 57,7% of cases of excess weight in sons, compared to 23.8% and 27,8% in daughters. Perception of excess weight was associated with the professional qualifications of the father (47%) and be a housewife (40%). Excess weight parents' perception coincided with more compliance with physical activity recommendations in younger's sons (67.5% vs. 77.3%) and daughters (47.5% vs. 55.6%), and a lower frequency of sedentary in 3-9 years girls (42.6% vs. 38.9%). According to parents' excess weight perception we found slight differences in dietary by gender and age group of children. Conclusions: A significant percentage of children´s excess weight is not perceived by the parents, being due to study the causes and why parent's perception does not determine differences in dietary habits, physical activity and sedentary habits in their children.

Keywords : Overweight; Obesity; Child Nutrition Disorders; Parent-Child relation; Life Style.

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