Maternal perception of their overweight children.Public Health Nurs. 2007 Nov-Dec; 24(6):538-46.PH
To assess maternal perception of their preschool child's overweight at an urban Special Supplemental Nutritional Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) serving primarily Hispanic families. To compare the mothers' perceptions with selected demographic variables of the sample and compare the results with a similar study conducted previously.
Replication descriptive survey.
Mothers of overweight 2-5-year-old children enrolled in 2 Southern Nevada WIC programs (n = 38).
Face-to-face interviews where 5 survey questions and 4 demographic questions were read to mothers by the investigator.
Sixty-one percent of mothers did not recognize their children as being overweight. The perception of their child's overweight was independent of age as well as educational level of the mother. Half of the mothers (50%) had taken no steps to control what their child ate.
Hispanic mothers of overweight children may not perceive their children as being overweight. Nursing intervention is not likely to be effective if it is assumed that a mother recognizes her child's weight as a problem. Nurses must be aware of the impact of social and cultural beliefs on childhood overweight and make adjustments in their educational approaches based on the client's belief system and cultural background.