Document Type : Original Article


College of Nursing, Idaho State University, Pocatello


BACKGROUND: The identification of parental health knowledge related to obesity and overweight
status in children is an important area. Its importance relates to understanding gaps in knowledge that
can be used to create targeted intervention and prevention strategies to improve the management
of child’s weight.
AIM: There is a growing awareness of the potential health risks associated with increased childhood
weight. It is currently unclear how well the public understands these risks and if understanding is
linked to improvement in obesity or overweight levels in children. This review focused on determining
if the current research is available to describe parental knowledge and whether it is connected to
improved outcomes in the child’s weight status.
METHODS: The search for original research articles published between 2003 and 2018 involved
six databases, including CINAHL, EBSCOhost, PubMed, PsycINFO, Psychology, and Behavioral
Sciences Collection, and OneSearch. The OneSearch database is a comprehensive search engine
that allows simultaneous searching of the entire library category and results that are ranked by
relevance to the search terms. The terms used included for the keyword search in each database
included: “knowledge” or “awareness,” “health risk” or “consequence,” “obesity” or “overweight,”
and “weight” or “body mass index,” “child,” and “parent” or “parental.” A content analysis of included
articles was performed to synthesize available literature into a review.
RESULTS: This review included nine articles dealing specifically with parents of children and their
knowledge levels. As there was limited information about if child’s weight status connected to parental
knowledge, an additional seven articles addressing how knowledge affects weight at any age was
examined. The findings for parental knowledge and its effect have mixed results and varying methods
of measurement.
CONCLUSIONS: While some studies have indicated the importance of knowledge, it is difficult to
establish a reliable connection due to the limited examination of this subject. This is, therefore, an
underexplored area that needs further study.


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