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Objective: To examine parental perceptions of primary care efforts aimed at childhood obesity prevention

Methods and Procedures: We interviewed 446 parents of children, aged 2–12 years, with an age- and sex-specific BMI ≥85th percentile; interviews occurred within 2 weeks of their child's primary care visit. We assessed parental ratings of the nutrition and physical activity advice received. Using children's clinical heights and weights and parents' self-reported heights and weights, we classified children into three categories: BMI 85th–94th percentile without an overweight parent, BMI 85th–94th percentile with an overweight parent (adult BMI ≥25 kg/m2), and BMI ≥95th percentile.

Results: In multivariate analyses, compared to parents of children with BMI ≥95th percentile, overweight parents with children whose BMI was 85th–94th percentile were more likely to report receiving too little advice on nutrition and physical activity (odds ratio (OR) 3.05; 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.49, 6.25) and to rate as poor or fair the quality of advice they received (OR 2.23; 95% CI 1.18, 4.24). Independently, African-American (OR 2.55; 95% CI 1.18, 5.51) and Hispanic/Latino (OR 2.78; 95% CI 1.27, 6.10) parents were more likely than white parents to rate as poor or fair the quality of advice they received.

Discussion: Parental overweight is associated with low subjective ratings of overweight counseling in pediatric primary care. Our findings of poorer perceived quality among racial/ethnic minority parents need further investigation.