Families' Perceptions of and Experiences Related to a Pediatric Weight Management Intervention: A Qualitative Study

J Nutr Educ Behav. Sep-Oct 2015;47(5):427-31.e1. doi: 10.1016/j.jneb.2015.05.002. Epub 2015 Jul 2.


Objective: To examine parents' and children's perceptions of and experiences related to a Parents as Agents of Change (PAC) intervention for managing pediatric obesity.

Methods: Ten families were recruited from a PAC intervention. Participants were interviewed before (10 adults and 9 children), during (9 adults and 8 children), and after (8 adults) the intervention.

Results: Before the intervention, families reported goals to increase physical activity, plan and eat healthier meals, reduce screen time, and lose weight. During the intervention, families described different approaches to making behavior changes depending on who assumed responsibility (parent, child, or shared responsibility). After the intervention, group setting, goal setting, and portion size activities were viewed positively. Suggestions for improvement included engaging children and reducing intervention length.

Conclusions and implications: Practitioners delivering PAC interventions should discuss families' goals and concerns, and who is responsible for making lifestyle changes. Practical activities are valuable. The length of interventions and engagement of children should be considered.

Keywords: obesity; parents; pediatric; qualitative; treatment.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Body Weight
  • Child
  • Feeding Behavior / psychology*
  • Female
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Health Promotion / methods*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Parents / psychology*
  • Pediatric Obesity / psychology*
  • Pediatric Obesity / therapy
  • Qualitative Research