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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service


Location: Children's Nutrition Research Center

Title: Impact of parental weight status on weight loss efforts in Hispanic children

item Johnston, Craig
item Tyler, Chermaine
item Stansberry, Sandra
item El-mubasher, Abeer
item Covarrubias, Michelle
item Foreyt, John

Submitted to: Obesity
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/1/2008
Publication Date: 10/1/2008
Citation: Johnston, C.A., Tyler, C., Stansberry, S.A., El-Mubasher, A.A., Covarrubias, M., Foreyt, J. 2008. Impact of parental weight status on weight loss efforts in Hispanic children. Obesity. 16(Suppl.1):S148.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Parents have been shown to play an important role in weight loss for children. Parents are typically involved either as models for change or as supporters of children's weight loss efforts. It is likely that overweight/obese parents will need to be involved in changing the environment for themselves and the child to facilitate a child's weight loss. Parents who have difficulty making healthy changes in their own lives may impact their children's efforts to improve their health. However, little research has been shown that demonstrates how a parent's initial weight status impacts children's weight loss. The purpose of this study was to determine the impact of parental weight status on the weight loss of children in a school-based weight management program. Participants were from a larger study in which Hispanic middle school children were randomized to an intensive intervention (II) that included nutrition and physical activity or a health class. Participants in the II were demonstrated to have significantly more weight loss at 3-6- and 12 months. Only those participants from the II were used in the current study. Parents of 49 children who exceeded the 85th percentile for body mass index (BMI) self reported their heights and weights. Children with two obese parents living in the home experienced significantly less change in standardized BMI following 3-6- and 12-months of participation in the program (F-3.20, p=.007) compared to children who had either one or no obese parents. Children with one or no obese parents actually decreased their BMI while children with two obese parents increased their BMI at 3-6- and 12-months. This study clearly indicates the important role parents have on their children in weight loss programs. Additionally, results of this study highlight the importance of addressing parent weight status when working with children to manage their weight. Overall, it is important to identify factors such as parental weight status that impact the efficacy of child weight management programs.

Last Modified: 10/17/2017
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