221236 Parent Influences on Early Childhood Obesity: A conceptual model

Tuesday, November 9, 2010 : 11:00 AM - 11:15 AM

Laura Lessard, MPH , Department of Behavioral Sciences and Health Education, Emory University, Atlanta, GA
Childhood obesity is of serious concern in the United States. In fact, 26.2% of children ages 2-5 are either overweight or obese and this percentage has grown over the past ten years. Research has shown that children who are overweight at an early age are at higher risk of numerous negative health outcomes throughout the lifespan; this realization has led to a growing body of literature on early childhood obesity. Numerous behaviors are linked to obesity among young children including poor diet, lower rates of physical activity, and increased screen viewing time. Parents have an important role to play in obesity prevention, especially among young children, and the home environment is a potential target for obesity prevention interventions designed for this population. This literature review considered the research available on attributes of the home environment with an influence on early childhood obesity in order to develop a conceptual model to be used in further research. Numerous scholarly databases (e.g. PubMed, CINAHL) were culled for articles describing early childhood obesity and the influence of parents and/or the home environment. The home environment can be conceptualized as three interrelated components: 1) the physical environment; 2) parental modeling; and 3) household policies. Examples of each of these components and their connection to obesity will be provided along with implications for intervention design. This conceptual model posits that interventionists, community activists and others should consider the important role that parents and the home environment play in the development of early childhood obesity.

Learning Areas:
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Systems thinking models (conceptual and theoretical models), applications related to public health

Learning Objectives:
Describe attributes of the home environment relevant for obesity prevention; Describe three components of the home environment that impact child weight status

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am qualified to present because I conducted the review on which this model is based.
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.