Low-income Pennsylvanian parents of 10-14 year olds reveal stressors that challenge obesity prevention efforts. J Nutri Educ Behav. 2015;47(4S):S68. Objective: To describe the psychographics of a lower income, parent/caregiver population recruited to evaluate My Child’s Weight, a program that addresses parent/caregiver concerns about their child’s body size, development, and weight changes. Study Design, Settings, Participants: Cross-sectional online survey (Qualtrics Pro, Provo, UT). Participants were parents/caregivers of children 10 – 14 y, recruited from low-income venues. Measurable Outcome/Analyses: Participants completed items from the SNAP-Education and Administration Reporting System, Satter Eating Competence Inventory, Three Factor Eating Questionnaire (TFEQ-R18), Sense of Coherence (3-item), Parent Modeling Behavior and Fruit and Vegetable Availability questionnaires along with items on weight perception and satisfaction, self-described eating disorders, food security, and the program evaluation. Data were analyzed using SPSS 22.0. Summary of Results: Participants (n=30) were white, mostly female (93%), lower income (90%), 28 – 63 y; SNAP participants (67%) with a profile of weight issues: Mean BMI was 34.7; 22 (73%) were overweight/obese; 53% were dissatisfied with their current weight, 30% perceived current or previous eating disorder issues; only 27% were eating competent; 60% reported feeling stressed. Nearly all (87%) were concerned about the weight of their 10 – 14 y old children, but more so for parents dissatisfied with their own weight (P=0.011). Conclusions and Implications: Findings suggest that developing successful childhood obesity prevention programs will need to address challenges presented by the high prevalence of parents/caregivers who are stressed, eating disordered and not eating competent. Consider parent vulnerabilities and weight-centered psychographics when developing and testing childhood obesity prevention interventions.

Date of creation, presentation, or exhibit



Presented during the Society for Nutrition Education and Behavior 2015 Annual Conference and published in the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior.

Document Type

Conference Paper

Department, Program, or Center

Nutrition Management (CHST)


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