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SAGE Publications

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Western Journal of Nursing Research

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The purpose of this study was to examine child and parent determinants of children’s body fat percentage (BF%) along with their body mass index percentile (BMIp). Children’s BF% and BMIp auger lifelong health risks when elevated, and one in five children are affected. Participants (N = 135) included 62% female children; 50.7% Caucasian, 31.7% Hispanic, and 8.5% African American. Children were aged 9–15 years (2% underweight, 47.9% normal weight, 19.7% overweight, and 24.6% obese). Parent BMI average was 30.67 (1.4% underweight, 20.4% normal weight, 23.9% overweight, 40% obese, and 7% extreme obesity); 77.5% of the participating parents were mothers. Following multiple imputations, path analyses were conducted of child and parent determinants of children’s BF% and BMIp. Children’s BF% and BMIp were related to parents’ concern about overweight and children’s perception of that concern. For children of overweight or obese parents, who are at highest risk for obesity, assessing the parents’ concern is the highest priority.


Accepted version. Western Journal of Nursing Research, Vol. 42, No. 8 (2020): 593–602. DOI. © 2020 SAGE Publications. Used with permission.

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