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Parents' Awareness of Their Fifth Graders' Weight Status in Rural South Dakota

McCann, Anne RD; Kemmer, Teresa PhD, RD; Jensen, Becky MS, RD; Wey, Howard PhD

doi: 10.1097/TIN.0b013e31826f8ff8
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The Parent Awareness Questionnaire (PAQ) was used to survey parents of fifth graders in 5 rural South Dakota schools on the perception of their own and their children's weight. The PAQ responses were compared with anthropometric assessments. Thirty-six percent of the children were overweight or obese. Correct weight status assessments were made by 19% of mothers and 23% of fathers of overweight children and 0% of mothers and 13% of fathers of obese children, whereas the remainder underassessed their children's weight. Parents of overweight and obese children were largely unconcerned and unaware of their children's true weight status.

Health and Nutritional Sciences Department (Mss McCann and Jensen and Dr Kemmer) and College of Nursing (Dr Wey), South Dakota State University, Brookings, South Dakota.

Correspondence: Anne McCann, RD, Health and Nutritional Sciences Department, South Dakota State University, Brookings, SD 57007 (

Funding support was provided by the US Department of Agriculture, SD Agricultural Experiment Station (SD00H249-08SDSU), and the Obesity Research Group (SDSU-ORG) via an award from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC DP08EM-001).

The authors thank the students and parents who participated in the study and the graduate and undergraduate students of South Dakota State University who assisted with data collection.

The authors have disclosed that they have no significant relationships with, or financial interest in, any commercial companies pertaining to this article.

© 2012 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.