Obesity and maternal perception: a cross-sectional study of children aged 6 to 8 years in Kuwait
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Background: Childhood obesity is on the increase in the Middle East. Aims: This study aimed to determine the prevalence of obesity in those aged six to eight years and to investigate maternal perception of child weight. Methods: A nation-wide study of data on height and weight were obtained from nurses’ records, and maternal perceptions were assessed through a self-administered questionnaire. Sample size comprised 2208 individuals with BMI measurements and 1002 with BMI and maternal perception data. Results: The prevalence of overweight and obese children combined was 40.9% as per WHO cut-off values and 39.7% as per Centres for Disease Control and Prevention categorizations. We also found that 77.9% of overweight and 45.4% of obese children were perceived by their mothers to have healthy body weights. Additionally, 39.8% of children with normal weight were also judged by their mothers to be underweight. Conclusions: An alarmingly high prevalence of childhood obesity among Kuwaiti children, coupled with mothers distorted perception of their child’s actual weight status is a serious concern that requires urgent public health intervention.
- Public Health [355 items ]