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International Journal of Pediatrics
Volume 2010 (2010), Article ID 306703, 9 pages
Research Article

Parental Misperception of Their Child's Body Weight Status Impedes the Assessment of the Child's Lifestyle Behaviors

1Department of Kinesiology, University of Montreal, CP 6128, Succursale Centre-ville, Montreal, Quebec, Canada H3C 3J7
2Research Center, CHU Sainte-Justine, Montreal, Quebec, Canada H3T 1C5
3Department of Physical Education, PEPS, Laval University, Quebec City, Quebec, Canada G1K 7P4
4Division of Kinesiology (PEPS), Department of Social and Preventive Medicine, Laval University, Quebec City, Quebec, Canada G1K 7P4

Received 14 January 2010; Accepted 13 July 2010

Academic Editor: Mutasim Abu-Hasan

Copyright © 2010 Marie-Eve Mathieu et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Objectives. To examine if distinct characteristics are associated with parental misclassification of underweight (UW), normal weight (NW), and overweight or obese (OWOB) children and the implications of misclassification on the parental evaluation of the child's lifestyle habits. Methods. Cross-sectional analysis (2004 sample) of the Quebec Longitudinal Study of Child Development (1998–2010) ( 𝑛 = 1 ,125). Results. 16%, 55%, and 77% of NW, UW and OWOB children were perceived inaccurately, respectively. Misperception was significantly higher in nonimmigrant parents of UW children, in highly educated parents of NW children and in NW and OWOB children with lower BMI percentiles. Erroneous body weight status identification impedes the evaluation of eating habits of all children as well as physical activity and fitness levels of UW and OWOB children. Conclusion. Parental misclassification of the child's body weight status and lifestyle habits constitutes an unfavorable context for healthy body weight management.