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Year : 2019  |  Volume : 8  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 981-984

Factors affecting accurate parents' perception of ideal weight of preschool age children in Abha City, KSA

Department of Child Health, College of Medicine, King Khalid University, Abha, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Saleh M Alqahtani
Department of Child Health, King Khalid University, Abha
Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jfmpc.jfmpc_1_19

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Background: Obesity as a significant health problem among children worldwide can have major adverse effects on children life. Awareness of parents about childhood obesity and ideal weight in children is crucial. Objectives: To identify the factors affecting the parental perception about ideal weight for their preschool children. Methods: A cross-sectional study was carried out including a representative sample of the parents of healthy children attending sevenprimary health care centers (PHCCs) in Abha city, KSA. All parents who have a child aged 12–70 month were included. The parents were interviewed through structured questionnaire inquiring about factors that could impact the parents' perception regarding the ideal weight for their children. Saudi body mass index chart was used to classify children into ideal, overweight or failure to thrive. SPSS version 25 was used for data analysis. Results: Out of 385 children aged 12–70 month, the overall overweight/obesity amounted to 8.6% (33/385). Overall, accurate parental perception was observed among slightly more than half of parents. Parents whose children were ≤24 months were more likely to perceive accurately their weight compared with those whose children were older (61.3% vs 49.1%). The difference was statistically significant, P = 0.032. Conclusion: Approaching half of parents have inaccurate perception of their children's weight, particularly their older children. Encouragement of parents to follow their children's weight through percentile charts at primary care centers is needed.

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