Parental recall of doctor communication of weight status: national trends from 1999 through 2008.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

OBJECTIVE: To examine time trends in parental reports of health professional notification of childhood overweight over the last decade and to determine the characteristics most associated with such notification. DESIGN: Secondary data analysis using χ(2) tests to examine the relationships between multiple factors on the reports of parents and/or caregivers (hereinafter "parents") and logistic regression for multivariate analysis. SETTING: National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 1999 through 2008. PARTICIPANTS: Parents of 4985 children aged 2 to 15 years with body mass index (BMI) in the 85th percentile or higher based on measured height and weight. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Affirmative answer to the following question: "Has a doctor or health professional ever told you that your child is overweight?" RESULTS: During 1999 through 2008, 22% of parents of children with BMIs in the 85th percentile or higher reported having been told by a doctor or health professional that their child was overweight; recall of notification was actually more likely among nonwhite and poor children. This percentage increased from 19.4% to 23.2% from the 1999-2004 period and further accelerated in the 2007-2008 period to 29.1%. The time trend persisted in multivariate analyses, with significantly more parents reporting having been told in 2007 through 2008 than in 1999 through 2000. CONCLUSION: Fewer than one-quarter of parents of overweight children report having been told that their child was overweight. While reports of notification have increased over the last decade (perhaps because of [1] revised definitions of overweight and obesity, [2] increased concern about children with BMIs in the 85th to 95th sex- and age-specific percentiles, or [3] improved recall by parents), further research is necessary to determine where and why communication of weight status breaks down.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Perrin, EM; Skinner, AC; Steiner, MJ

Published Date

  • April 2012

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 166 / 4

Start / End Page

  • 317 - 322

PubMed ID

  • 22147758

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC3368219

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1538-3628

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1001/archpediatrics.2011.1135


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States