Traditionally, body mass index (BMI) percentile has been used to identify overweight and obesity in children. Although this measure isn’t without pitfalls, it’s often seen as the best option.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) the term health literacy refers to, “the degree to which an individual has the capacity to obtain, communicate, process, and understand basic health information and services to make appropriate health decisions.”
How does this relate to obesity in children?
Based on the evidence, we know the proportion of children impacted by overweight or obesity increased significantly from the 1970s to 2000s, and approximately one-third of children are currently classified as such.
However, we know much less with regards to recent trends… how has the prevalence of childhood overweight and obesity changed over the past 15 years?
This weekend I presented data from the RIPPLE RCT (the poster can be found here) at the International Congress of Obesity (ICO) in Vancouver, BC. To date, this conference represents the most personally rewarding experience based on the range of conference attendees that visited my poster; I was fortunate to meet and interact with well-known researchers from Australia, Canada, United States, and the UK.
Educating parents on children’s healthy lifestyle behaviors is important. However, little information on this topic is directly targeted towards children, particularly in the clinical setting. Anecdotally, and based on our PROP (Primary care Resources for Obesity in Pediatrics) study, the majority of tools and resources were targeted towards parents (vs. children), and had a readability level that far surpassed most children’s (<12 years) literacy levels.
In a recent review entitled, “A systematic review of media parenting in the context of childhood obesity research,” the authors sought to determine factors related to children’s media use and media parenting (i.e., parenting practices related to children’s media use). Studies eligible for inclusion pertained to parenting and childhood obesity.