Learning Objective 1: The learner will be able to discuss the relationship between a child’s self perception of actual body image and the perception by their parent.
Learning Objective 2: The learner will be able to discuss the relationship between a child’s self perception of ideal body image and the perception by their parent.
Methods: The design was a cross sectional descriptive, correlational, study of 44 children, age 9 to 13 years. Information gathered included weight, height, birth date and gender. BMI percentile was calculated using the CDC online calculator. Each child and their parent were asked to identify the child’s actual and ideal body image on a body image scale. This scale was developed by Truby and Paxton (2002) to determine body size dissatisfaction in Australian children and was used with permission. Data analysis included descriptive statistics and t-tests.
Results: Of the 44 subjects, 52% were overweight or obese. However, 89% of the sample identified themselves as a healthy weight. Only 9% were identified as being overweight or obese by parents. A difference was found between males and females in regards to actual (t (42) = 18.19, p < .001) and ideal body image (t (42) = 17.24, p < .001) by the subject group and by the parent group for actual (t (30) = 10.67, p < .001) and ideal body image (t (30) = 20.73, p < .001).
Conclusion: Information from this study will allow health care providers and persons working with children to understand how perception of one’s body image can have an impact on health behaviors for if a child or their parent do not see the child as being overweight or obese why would they want to adopt a more healthy lifestyle.