Several parenting styles have been found more prevalent than others in families of obese children in comparison to normal weight children.
The linkage with feeding practices
|Attitudes of parents towards their child’s weight|
Comments and research findings
Ignoring child’s weight is considerable in parents of overweight children (above 80%) yet less frequent in parents of obese children (less but not 20%).
Misperception, disconnection, underestimation
Seven to ten mothers of overweight children claimed that their child was of similar weight to their peers, as being equally or more active than other children, and as having a diet at least as healthy as their peers.
Low educational level
Parents with less education have been shown to associate lower risk to their child’s overweight.
Boys vs. girls
Parents of boys have been shown to associate lower risk to their child’s overweight.
One of the most important factors affecting parental attitude toward their child’s overweight is the manner in which parents perceive and are preoccupied with their own weight. Parents are more likely to worry about their child’s potential for future overweight if they or the other parent are, or have been, overweight. In addition, parents may become over-concerned with their child’s overweight as the result of problematic consultations they have had with health care professionals.
Children’s’ perceptions about their own overweight have been found to be influenced to a greater extent by the manner in which their parents relate to their overweight than by their actual BMI. For example, for overweight girls, their mothers’ weight-related over-reacting, likely leading to restriction of food, and their fathers’ overt criticism about their weight, are among the factors that have the most detrimental influence on their self-perception, and well-being.