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Open Access Research article

Children’s perception on obesity and quality of life: a Mexican survey

Mario-Enrique Rendón-Macías1*, Haydeé Rosas-Vargas2, Miguel-Ángel Villasís-Keever1 and Celia Pérez-García1

Author Affiliations

1 Unidad de Investigación en Epidemiología Clínica, UMAE Hospital de Pediatría, Centro Médico Nacional Siglo XXI, Instituto Mexicano del Seguro Social, Cuauhtémoc 330 Colonia Doctores, México, D.F. CP 06720, México

2 Unidad de Investigación Médica en Genética Humana, Centro Médico Nacional Siglo XXI, Instituto Mexicano del Seguro Social, México, D.F., México

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BMC Pediatrics 2014, 14:131  doi:10.1186/1471-2431-14-131

Published: 29 May 2014

Abstract

Background

Child obesity has become a major health problem worldwide. In order to design successful intervention strategies, it is necessary to understand how children perceive obesity and its consequences.

Methods

With the aim to evaluate scholar children perception of obesity as a significant factor on the quality of life, we developed and validated the “Obesity impact on the quality of life perception-questionnaire” (ObI-Q). We surveyed 1335 healthy children aged 6–12 years, randomly selected from elementary schools in Mexico City. The ObI-Q comprises eight multiple-choice items that explore aspects related to the quality of life during adult life; such as health, life span, emotional status, lifestyle, social recognition and economic status. In order to identify perceptional modifier factors, results were analyzed through multivariable logistic regression. Variables included gender, age, and child nutritional status, as well as the child’s perception of parental nutritional status.

Results

ObI-Q results showed that most children (64.71%) considered obesity as a negative condition that influences health and social performance. This perception was inversely related to age (OR = 0.64, p = 0.003), as well as to the perception of their mother nutritional status (OR = 0.47, p = 0.01).

Conclusions

This study provides an overview of children’s perception on obesity and its consequences. Because the high proportion of schoolchildren who do not view obesity as an adverse consequence to the quality of life, then the results of this study could be used as part of strategies for the prevention of overweight and obesity.