Childhood & Adolescent Obesity: Misperceptions of Weight Status

Project: Other

Project Details


While the prevalence of overweight and obesity among children and adolescents continues to increase, so too are the behaviour-directed interventions to address this epidemic. Unfortunately, these efforts have been largely unsuccessful at reducing the prevalence of overweight and obesity, as argued by Baum and Fisher (2014). One widely hypothesised problem is that many parents do not recognise their children as being at risk for overweight or obesity, and the interventions fall on deaf ears. Using the 2013 – 14 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey data that are collected by the USA government, this study 1) analyses assessments of children’s and early adolescents’ weight statuses to gauge the accuracy of weight perceptions, 2) investigates factors that may differentiate the segment where misperceptions exist from the segment where overweight status is accurately perceived, and 3) shows how these misperceptions are related to the ages and numbers of children in the household. Assuming weight assessments are based on comparisons with other children, this finding is consistent with Social Cognitive Theory. The conclusion is that to increase the likely success of intervention efforts, special attention must be paid to the composition of households.
Effective start/end date1/09/14 → …


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