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What Impacts Children’s Attempts to Lose Weight?

Obesity; ePub 2018 Feb 1; Ling, Stommel, et al

Interventions that increase the accuracy of children's perceptions of their weight status could help them lose weight in a healthy way, researchers concluded after conducting a study involving nearly 5,000 individuals. Participants were from 2005-2014 NHANES and ranged between the ages of 8 and 15 years. Among the results:

  • ~One-third never made an effort to lose weight.
  • 29% made determined attempts to do so.
  • Children's determined attempts to lose weight correlated with their BMI percentile.
  • Self-perceptions of overweight increased the likelihood of determined attempts to lose weight >7-fold.
  • Health professionals’ perceptions that children were overweight increased the likelihood of determined attempts to lose weight by nearly 3-fold.
  • Parent perceptions had a small but statistically significant influence on children's attempts to lose weight.

The authors noted the importance health professionals can play in childhood weight loss efforts.

Citation:

Ling J, Stommel M, Choi SH. Attempts to lose weight among US children: Importance of weight perceptions from self, parents, and health professionals. [Published online ahead of print February 1, 2018]. Obesity. doi:10.1002/oby.22106.

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