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Children 2016, 3(3), 13;

Actual Body Weight and the Parent’s Perspective of Child’s Body Weight among Rural Canadian Children

Canadian Centre for Health and Safety in Agriculture, University of Saskatchewan, Box 23, 104, Clinic Place, Saskatoon, SK S7N 2Z4, Canada
College of Nursing, University of Saskatchewan, 104 Clinic Place, Saskatoon, SK S7N 2Z4, Canada
Department of Medicine, College of Medicine, University of Saskatchewan, 5D40 Health Sciences Building, Box 19, 107 Wiggins Road, Saskatoon, SK S7N 5E5, Canada
Department of Community Health and Epidemiology, University of Saskatchewan, Health Science Building, 104, Clinic Place, Saskatoon, SK S7N 5E5, Canada
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Sari A. Acra
Received: 21 February 2016 / Revised: 22 July 2016 / Accepted: 28 July 2016 / Published: 4 August 2016
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The prevalence of being overweight during childhood continues to increase in the USA and Canada and children living in rural areas are more at risk than their urban counterparts. The objectives of this study were to evaluate how well the parent’s perception of their child’s weight status correlated with objectively measured weight status among a group of rural children and to identify predictors of inaccurate parental perceptions of child’s weight status. Participants were children from the Saskatchewan Rural Health Study conducted in 2010. Self-administered questionnaires were distributed through rural schools to parents of children in grades one to eight. Parents reported their child’s height and weight and rated their child’s weight status (underweight, just about the right weight, or overweight). Standardized body mass index (BMI) categories were calculated for clinically measured height and weight and for parental report of height and weight for 584 children. Logistic regression analysis was performed to identify predictors of misclassification of the parent’s perception of child’s weight status adjusting for potential confounders. Clinically measured overweight was much higher (26.5%) compared to parental perceived overweight (7.9%). The misclassification of the child’s BMI was more likely to occur if the child was a boy (odds ratio (OR) = 1.58) or non-Caucasian (OR = 2.03). Overweight was high in this group of rural children and parental perception of weight status underestimated the actual weight status of overweight school-age children. Parental reporting of child weight status has implications for public health policy and prevention strategies. Future research should focus on assessing longitudinal effects of parental misperceptions of child’s weight status. View Full-Text
Keywords: rural; body weight; body mass index rural; body weight; body mass index

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Karunanayake, C.P.; Rennie, D.C.; Hildebrand, C.; Lawson, J.A.; Hagel, L.; Dosman, J.A.; Pahwa, P.; The Saskatchewan Rural Health Study Team. Actual Body Weight and the Parent’s Perspective of Child’s Body Weight among Rural Canadian Children. Children 2016, 3, 13.

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