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“She is active, eats well – I am not worried”: A Qualitative Study of Parental Challenges to Managing Childhood Weight Based on Online Parenting Discussion Forums
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Sciences.
2017 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 40 credits / 60 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Abstract

Aim: This thesis explores parental challenges to managing childhood weight.

Relevance: Childhood overweight and obesity is a global health issue with serious health and societal consequences. Parents play a key role in the prevention and treatment of childhood overweight and obesity. Understanding the challenges parents face can facilitate improved support to them in providing their children an environment that promotes a healthy lifestyle and normal weight status.

Method: Data from three online parenting forums (based in Australia, USA, and UK) and posted from 2010-2016 were analyzed using qualitative content analysis.

Finding: Three themes were identified. The first theme relates to the challenges in managing childhood weight which were acknowledged by the parents. The second theme relates to parents’ beliefs about childhood overweight and obesity. The third theme relates to the parents’ beliefs about the health consequences of childhood overweight and obesity. The second and third themes were not directly acknowledged by the parents.

Conclusion: Parental understanding and perceptions of childhood overweight and obesity and the impact of elevated weight on the child affect parents desire and ability to manage childhood weight. It is important that interventions (at family, community, and health care system levels) to reduce and prevent childhood overweight and obesity are acceptable, effective, and sustainable to the parents. Greater parental understanding of how culture, past experiences and child’s behaviour can obscure detection and hinder actions to prevent childhood overweight and obesity can increase the success of interventions to manage childhood weight.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017.
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-324908OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-324908DiVA: diva2:1112113
Educational program
Master Programme in International Health
Available from: 2018-01-26 Created: 2017-06-19 Last updated: 2018-01-26Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
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