Speaking the Language of Parents

November 20, 2014 (old blog)

Studies often report the tendency for parents to inaccurately perceive their child’s weight status.

But what if we’ve been speaking the ‘wrong language’ all along?… asking parents to identify with terms and conditions that are clinically relevant but perhaps less so in their daily lives?

In a recent paper, Lupi et al. (2014) stated that visual cues are an improvement over the typical terminology that we may use to assess parents’ perceptions of children’s weight status (e.g., overweight, obese), but practical factors (e.g., size of children’s clothing, children’s level of hunger) are experienced by parents on a daily basis and may be more indicative of their true concerns.

Although not explicitly suggested by the authors, parents may tend to ‘under-recognize’ children’s OW status because they don’t resonate with the terms overweight and obese and what they mean; however, they do resonate with practical factors that may imply they are concerned about their child’s weight.


Lupi JL et al. Parental perceptions of family and pediatrician roles in childhood weight management. The Journal of Pediatrics.2014; epub ahead of print.


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