Main Article Content
Background: Prevalence of overweight, obesity and severe obesity among Saudi children of all age groups varies between 2 to 23.1%, children's obesity is an alarming issue. The problem primarily relies on the ability of parents to recognize their child's overweight/obesity, and to be aware that obesity is a risk factor for long-term health issues. Several studies showed that many parents are not concerned about their children's body weight, because they either think too little of their child's body weight or believe that obesity is inherited, thus modifiable. Parent's perception of child feeding is one of the influencing causes that contribute to child weight status. Although the prevalence of childhood obesity has increased significantly in Saudi Arabia, parents are unable to appreciate obesity in their child. Parental beliefs and practices in children’s nutrition may determine deviations in the acquisition of the child’s food preferences and in their self-regulation, who can influence their nutritional status. Childhood obesity and metabolic complications related thereto emerge as a challenge to global health in the 21st century, given its dramatic increase in the last decade in most countries.
Aim of the study:to assess of parental beliefs and practices about child feeding and its impact on child weight.
Method:Cross-sectional and descriptive study developed in a sample of (388)parents' study children aged 6-10 years. The children were recruited from the primary schools located in Al-Qunfudah region, Saudi Arabia. Child feeding, beliefs about childhood obesity, and practices about child feeding were collected. The body mass index of the children was assessed in the school, and their parents responded to a self-administered questionnaire which contained questions on parental perception of the children's weight/obesity status. Data were entered and analyzed using SPSS.
Results:Regarding age show that is a significant relation between age and total child feeding were f=5.880 and P-value= 0.001, increase( in<30and ), the mean +SD respectively were (106.500±9.936). and gender show that is a significant relation between genderand total child feeding were t=3.141and P-value=0.002, increase(in female than male), the mean +SD respectively were (100.593±9.568than). Also Qualification show that is a significant relation between Qualification and Total Child Feeding were f=2.402 and P-value=0.037, increase(in Intermediate degree), the mean +SD respectively were (101.063±9.069).
Conclusion: Since influence's which promote obesity in children include numerous factors, this issue must be handled as one of the greatest social and public health challenges at the present time. In this study, the assessment of parental beliefs and practices about child feeding in the face of age, education and household income penalizes underprivileged sections of the society, a fact which has not been documented in other studies. On the other hand, food-related beliefs of concern about the child’s weight, practices of control andpressure to eat were related to overweight children.