Date of Award
PhD Health Sciences
Health and Medical Sciences
Genevieve Pinto-Zipp, Ed.D.
Terrence F. Cahill, Ed.D.
Shahla Wunderlich, Ph.D.
perception, accuracy, weight, diet, preschool children, Healthy Eating Index (HEI-2015), ASA24-2018
Childhood obesity is a major public health problem. Parents often have an inaccurate perception of their child’s weight status and diet quality. The purpose of this study was to assess the accuracy of parents’ perception of their 3-5 years old children’s weight status and diet quality; and to explore if there was a relationship between parental weight perception, parental diet perception, and children’s diet quality. A cross-sectional survey design was used to collect data from parents of healthy 3-5 years old preschool children (n=333) through convenient sampling method. Parents’ perception of their preschool children’s weight status was measured using a Likert-scale question, Linear visual, and Circular visual. Parents’ perception of their preschool children’s diet quality was measured using a Likert-scale question and parents’ Diet Score.24-hour food recall was used for children’s dietary intake. ASA24-2018, an online dietary assessment tool, was used to analyze dietary intake for each child, to calculate children’s Healthy Eating Index-2015 scores. Children’s Body Mass Index and BMI percentiles were calculated according to CDC guidelines. The accuracy of parents’ weight perception was calculated by comparing children’s BMI percentiles to parents’ responses to the three weight perception questions. The accuracy of parents’ diet perception was calculated by comparing children’s HEI-2015 scores to parents’ responses to the two diet quality questions. Approximately half of parents underestimated their preschool child’s weight status. More than half of parents overestimated their preschool child’s diet quality. A negative relationship between parents’ BMI and the accuracy of parents’ weight perception was found; obese / overweight parents more likely to under-estimate their child’s weight. Parents’ level of education and parents’ socioeconomic status were positively correlated with the accuracy of parents’ diet perception. Study findings offer insight into parents’ perceptions which can be used to positively impact this major public health issue.
Hazhin, Taraneh, "Parents’ Perception of Their Preschool Children’s Weight Status and Diet Quality: How Accurate It Is?" (2021). Seton Hall University Dissertations and Theses (ETDs). 2862.