Primary-Care Weight-Management Strategies: Parental Priorities and Preferences

Christy Boling Turer, Carla Upperman, Zahra Merchant, Sergio Montaño, Glenn Flores

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Objective To examine parental perspectives/rankings of the most important weight-management clinical practices and to determine whether preferences/rankings differ when parents disagree that their child is overweight. Methods We performed mixed-methods analysis of a 32-question survey of parents of 2- to 18-year-old overweight children assessing parental agreement that their child is overweight, the single most important thing providers can do to improve weight status, ranking American Academy of Pediatrics-recommended clinical practices, and preferred follow-up interval. Four independent reviewers analyzed open-response data to identify qualitative themes/subthemes. Multivariable analyses examined parental rankings, preferred follow-up interval, and differences by agreement with their child's overweight assessment. Results Thirty-six percent of 219 children were overweight, 42% obese, and 22% severely obese; 16% of parents disagreed with their child's overweight assessment. Qualitative analysis of the most important practice to help overweight children yielded 10 themes; unique to parents disagreeing with their children's overweight assessments was "change weight-status assessments." After adjustment, the 3 highest-ranked clinical practices included, "check for weight-related problems," "review growth chart," and "recommend general dietary changes" (all P <.01); parents disagreeing with their children's overweight assessments ranked "review growth chart" as less important and ranked "reducing screen time" and "general activity changes" as more important. The mean preferred weight-management follow-up interval (10-12 weeks) did not differ by agreement with children's overweight assessments. Conclusions Parents prefer weight-management strategies that prioritize evaluating weight-related problems, growth-chart review, and regular follow-up. Parents who disagree that their child is overweight want changes in how overweight is assessed. Using parent-preferred weight-management strategies may prove useful in improving child weight status.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)260-266
Number of pages7
JournalAcademic Pediatrics
Issue number3
StatePublished - Apr 1 2016


  • childhood obesity
  • parents
  • primary care
  • weight management

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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