Journal of Nutrition and Dietetic Practice

Maternal Perception of Overweight in Toddlers

Author(s): John Worobey, Carolina Espinosa

It is well established that parents of preschoolers are not very accurate in assessing their children as being overweight, however, little is known as to whether parents of toddlers give any thought to this or are less concerned than parents of young children. In the present study, the responses of mothers of normal weight toddlers were compared to those of obese toddlers to determine if the latter group displayed higher concerns related to their toddlers’ weight status. Mothers of 24-month-old toddlers were surveyed as to their feeding practices and concerns. Results indicated that despite their toddlers meeting the criterion for obesity, these mothers displayed little concern for their toddlers being excessively overweight. Given the lack of concern for their toddlers’ overweight, practitioners who work with low-income minority mothers may need to be especially sensitive to their beliefs about child health, feeding, and weight.

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