Weight and Health-Focused Conversations in Racially/Ethnically Diverse Households With and Without a Child With Overweight/Obesity

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations

Abstract

Studies indicate parent conversations focused on child weight, shape, or size are associated with unhealthy child weight and weight-related behaviors, whereas health-focused conversations are not. Little research has examined what these types of conversations sound like, how parents respond to them, and whether households with or without a child with overweight/obesity approach these conversations differently. This study used qualitative data to identify the weight and health-focused conversations occurring in racially/ethnically diverse households. Children aged 5–7 years and their families (n = 150) from 6 racial/ethnic groups (i.e., African American, Hispanic, Hmong, Native American, Somali, White) participated in this mixed-methods study. Results showed that parents from households with and without a child with overweight/obesity engaged in similar weight and health-focused conversations (qualitative themes = focus on growth; health consequences of having overweight/obesity; focus on dietary intake and physical activity; being direct about weight, shape, or size; mixing weight and health-focused conversations). In addition, findings showed that parents also engaged in different types of weight and health-focused conversations, depending on whether the household had a child with overweight/obesity (qualitative themes = weight-based teasing; critiquing own weight) or without overweight/obesity (qualitative themes = differences in body shape and size are the norm; focus on modeling rather than talking). Results may be useful for informing public health interventions and for health care providers working with parents regarding weight and health-focused conversations occurring in home environments of diverse children.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)139-149
Number of pages11
JournalStigma and Health
Volume8
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 American Psychological Association

Keywords

  • diverse
  • health conversations
  • parent/child
  • weight conversations
  • weight stigma

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article

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