Asian American mothers' perception of their children's weight: a comparison with other racial/ethnic groups in Los Angeles

Ethn Dis. 2015 Winter;25(1):52-7.


Objective: While mother's perception of child's weight is important for the success of early childhood obesity prevention programs, few studies have examined that of Asian Americans. Our study examined their perception and compared it to that of mothers of other racial/ethnic groups.

Design: Cross-sectional study of 2,051 randomly selected mothers of children aged 2-5 years living in Los Angeles County who were enrolled in the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women Infants and Children (WIC).

Main outcome measure: The primary outcome was mother's perception of child's weight.

Results: We found that Asian American mothers were 2.12 (95% CI: 1.27-3.54) times as likely as Hispanic mothers to accurately perceive their children's weight, adjusting for child's age, sex and birthweight, and mother's age and education. However, this relationship disappeared after adjusting for mother's BMI. We did not find differences in perception of child's weight among non-Hispanic White, non-Hispanic Black and Hispanic mothers.

Conclusion: It appears that Asian American mothers' increased accurate perception of child's weight status can be partially explained by their lower prevalence of obesity. Our findings suggest that early childhood obesity prevention programs should consider the weight status of mothers.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Asian*
  • Body Weight / ethnology*
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Ethnicity*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Los Angeles
  • Male
  • Mother-Child Relations / ethnology*
  • Mothers / psychology*
  • Perception*