Online Program

Linking parent perceptions of children's weight to early coronary risk factors: Results from the cardiac study

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Meagan Stabler, B.S., School of Public Health, Department of Epidemiology, West Virginia University, Morgantown, WV
Lesley A. Cottrell, Ph.D., Department of Pediatrics, West Virginia University, Morgantown, WV
Christa Ice, PhD, School of Public Health, West Virginia University, Morgantown, WV
Background. Obesity is a public health threat because of the increasing prevalence in childhood and its causal relationship to the leading cause of death in America, heart disease. Detecting early signs of cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factors in children and appropriately intervening to reverse the unhealthy trajectory associated with childhood obesity is of great importance. The objective of this study is to observe parental perception of their child's body mass index (BMI) and find associations between inaccurately estimated children and CVD risk factors.

Methods. This study analyzed the association between 147 rural fifth grade students' lipid profiles and parents' self-reported survey who participated in the 2008-2011 Coronary Artery Risk Detection in Appalachian Communities (CARDIAC) study.

Results. After controlling for covariates, underestimated children, verses over and correctly estimated children, were six times more likely to have higher log-transformed triglyceride levels (OR=6.35 p<0.05) and nearly 8% higher systolic blood pressure (SBP) values (OR=1.08, p=0.051). Children of parents who overestimated their BMI, verses children with under and correct estimates, had lower SBP values (OR= 0.952, P<0.05).

Conclusion. Underestimating a child's BMI is associated with coronary risk-related factors, while overestimating a child's BMI is shown to have a protective effect against CVD markers. Parents' perceptions of their children's risk may either facilitate or impede their subsequent treatment efforts when needed. A better understanding for what is needed to motivate parents to take that next step when risks arise for their children would help in compliance and knowledge of the condition over time.

Learning Areas:

Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
Describe the prevalence of parental (mis)perception of offspring's body mass index. Identify the association between children whose body mass index was inaccurately estimated and their cardiovascular disease risk factors (i.e., higher triglyceride and systolic blood pressure values).

Keyword(s): Children's Health, Family Involvement

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have collaborated on numerous research projects in the area of maternal and child health, adolescent health, and injury control. My participation on these research projects range from study design and data collection to quantitative, secondary data analysis and manuscript writing. I also designed, conducted, and presented a research project, which measured college students’ level of physical activity and their perception of availability and social support.
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.