Mothers’ conceptions about excess weight in infancy and the nutritional status of their children
da Silva, Janaína Paula Costa, Sarubbi Junior, Vicente, Nascimento, Viviane Gabriela, Bertoli, Ciro João, Gallo, Paulo Rogério, Leone, Claudio
DATA DE PUBLICAÇÃO
OBJECTIVE: To analyze maternal conceptions about excess weight in infancy and the nutritional status of their preschool-aged children. METHODS: A mixed, exploratory study was performed using semi-structured interviews. Two study groups were defined: a group of 16 mothers of children with excess weight and a group of 15 mothers of eutrophic children. The interviews were submitted to content analysis using CHIC software (Classification Hiérarchique Implicative et Cohésitive¯). RESULTS: The mothers of children with excess weight tended to conceive thin children as malnourished, while those of normal weight children emphasized the influence of family and genetics as determinants of a child’s nutritional status. Although there was a certain consensus among the mothers that an unhealthy diet contributes to the risk of a child developing excess weight, the concept of genetics as a determinant of a child’s nutritional status was also present in the dialogue from the mothers of both groups. This result indicates a lack of clarity regarding the influence of eating behavior and family lifestyle on weight gain and the formation of a child’s eating habits. Both groups indicated that the mother has a decisive role in the eating habits of her child; however, the mothers of children with excess weight did not seem to take ownership of this concept when addressing the care of their own children. CONCLUSION: Differences in conceptions, including taking ownership of care, may contribute to the development of excess weight in preschool-aged children.
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