Research has shown that family weight talk and teasing are associated with child overweight status and unhealthy weight control behaviors. However, little is known about how weight talk and teasing are experienced in the home, how parents respond, and what factors influence whether weight talk and teasing occur. The main objective of this study is to qualitatively examine weight talk and teasing in the home environments of diverse low-income children. Parents (N= 118) from a mixed-methods cross-sectional study were interviewed in their home. The majority of parents (90% female; mean age = 35 years) were from minority (65% African American) and low income (<$25,000/year) households. A grounded theory analysis found the following themes: weight talk contradictions, overt and covert weight talk/teasing, reciprocal teasing, and cultural factors related to weight talk/teasing. These themes should be addressed when developing family-based interventions to reduce weight talk and teasing in the home environment.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
Research is supported by grant number R21DK091619 from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (PI: Jerica Berge). Content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases or the National Institutes of Health.
- Childhood obesity
- Diverse families
- Weight talk
- Weight teasing