Development of an intervention to improve parental recognition of childhood overweight

Angela R. Jones, Martin Tovee, A Ruto, L Cutler, K. N. (Kathryn) Parkinson, Louisa Ells, Dawn Scott, Vera Araújo-Soares, M. S. (Mark) Pearce, J Harris, A Crawford, Ashley J. Adamson

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Parents are central to the development of their child's health-related behaviours and play an important role in childhood obesity prevention. However, evidence shows that parents typically do not recognise when their child is overweight; they tend to use how their children look compared with others to identify weight status, relying on extreme cases as a reference point. Addressing parents' misperceptions of child weight status is important because without recognition of overweight in their child they are unlikely to take appropriate action. The aim of this study was to develop a visual tool to improve parents' ability to assess their child's weight status. Height and weight measurements were taken from children age matched to both National Child Measurement Programme age groups (4–5 and 10–11 years) and in all the UK90 weight categories. 3D body scans were also taken using 3D surface body scanning technology. Data from 388 children (n = 211 4–5 years, n = 177 10–11 years), together with qualitative work with a parent panel (n = 39) and health professionals working in childhood obesity (n = 5), were used to develop age- and gender-specific body image scales (BIS) of known body mass index (BMI). To our knowledge, this study developed the first BIS of known BMI for children aged 4–5 and 10–11 years based on UK90 criteria and they are being used in a large cluster randomised trial to test their effectiveness in improving parental recognition of childhood overweight. This work is funded by the National Prevention Research Initiative
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)-
    Publication statusPublished - 2015


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