Little is known about the association between parental perception of their child's weight as well as parent's current and future concerns regarding their child's weight and a broad range of food-related parenting practices. This study used the first wave of cross-sectional data from the longitudinal Family Matters study to examine the relationships between parental perception of child weight status, parent concern for child's current and future weight and parent use of different types of food-related practices. Parent/child dyads (n = 150) were recruited from primary care clinics. Multiple regression models were fit to examine cross-sectional relationships between parental perception and concern for their child's weight and food-related parenting practices (food restriction, pressure-to-eat, food control, food monitoring, nutrition education, and parent modeling). Parents who perceived their child to be underweight had lower scores for food restriction than parents who perceived their child to be overweight. Parents who reported concern about their child's current weight reported higher scores for food restriction and monitoring than parents who were not currently concerned. Parents who reported concern about their child's future weight status reported higher scores for pressure-to-eat and monitoring than parents who were not at all concerned about their child's future weight status. The relationship between parental perception of child's current weight status and parent use of food restriction, pressure-to-eat, and overall food control was modified by child sex. Overall, results suggest that parent's perceptions of and concerns about their child's current and future weight status were correlated with their feeding approaches. Health care providers may want to consider providing anticipatory guidance for parents that have concerns about their child's weight by teaching them about positive, evidence-based ways they can engage in healthy food-related parenting practices.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
Research is supported by grant no. R01 HL126171-04 from the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (PI: Jerica Berge) and the first authors (KAL) time is supported by grant no. K23-HD090324-01A1 from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (PI: Katie Loth). Content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development or the National Institutes of Health.
- Child food control
- Childhood obesity
- Parent feeding behaviors
- Weight status
PubMed: MeSH publication types
- Journal Article