178329 Public Perception of Childhood Obesity among Mississippi Adults

Wednesday, October 29, 2008: 11:00 AM

Lei Zhang, PhD MBA , Office of Health Data and Research, Mississippi State Department of Health, Jackson, MS
Jerome Kolbo, PhD ACSW , College of Health, University of Southern Mississippi, Hattiesburg, MS
Bonnie Harbaugh, PhD RN , School of Nursing, University of Southern Mississippi, Hattiesburg, MS
Charkarra Anderson-Lewis, PhD MPH , Department of Community Health Sciences, University of Southern Mississippi, Hattiesburg, MS
Objectives: To identify the public perception of childhood obesity among Mississippi adults.

Setting: Understanding the public perception of childhood obesity in Mississippi is critical to formulating new health policies and selecting the best interventions and strategies for curbing the alarming rise in childhood obesity in the state.

Methods: The 2006 Mississippi Public Perception of Childhood Obesity Survey was a telephone survey conducted using Computer-assisted Telephone Interviewing (CATI). It used the List-assisted Sampling and Random-Digit Dialing (RDD) technique. The data were weighted using the 2005 Census Bureau Population Estimates by age group, race, and sex to reflect the characteristics of the population distribution. SPSS 14.0 – Complex Sample was used for data management and analysis.

Results: A total of 1,427 Mississippi adults participated in the survey. About 94.8% of Mississippi adults consider childhood obesity to be a serious problem. Public was divided on issues of reducing obesity with 46.7% regarded as a personal issue while 45.0% thought it was a community issue. Related to school initiatives, 94.0% would support “requiring 30 minutes of daily physical activity for grades K-12” and 92.2% would support “including nutrition /fitness /health in school curricula”. Related to government initiatives, 90.7% would support “funding recreation programs for children and teens” and 84.8% would support “including nutritional information on fast food menus”.

Conclusions: Efforts among children must increase to curb risk behaviors that may lead to childhood obesity and efforts among schools and government must increase to adopt prevention initiatives.

Learning Objectives:
Learning Objectives: At the end of the session, participants will be able to: (1) Describe the perception of childhood obesity among Mississippi adults. (2) Understand schools and government initiatives on preventing childhood obesity.

Keywords: Children's Health, Obesity

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Extensive education and experience in biostatistics and statistical analysis.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.