Background General practitioners (GPs) do not routinely check children's weight, partly due to concern regarding parental/child response. The aim of this study is to compare GP concerns regarding weighing with parental/child responses.
Objective Compare GP insights on weighing children with the experience of parents whose children had been weighed.
Methods Part 1: postal survey of 20% sample of Irish GPs. Part 2: general practice-based study checking weight of 5–12 year olds attending 10 practices, with postconsultation parental survey.
Setting Irish General Practice.
Participants 393 GPs and 457 parents.
Outcome measures GP (n=393) and parental (n=434) responses.
Results Of 490 GPs surveyed, 393 responded (response rate 80.2%). Few GPs (3.56%) always checked children's weight. Concern regarding parental response was often (52.2%) or always (19.0%) a concern that affected the likelihood of discussing a child's weight.
Among children (n=457), 14.9% were overweight and 10.9% obese. Almost all (98.6%) parents indicated checking weight was helpful. 4.4% of parents and just over 1 in 4 obese children responded negatively to weighing. Overweight children were more likely to respond negatively (χ2=62.6, df=4, p<0.001). Children 5–6 years were most likely to respond positively.
Conclusions GPs are conflicted regarding the acceptability of weighing the child but almost all parents believed it helpful. A minority of obese children responded negatively.
- General Paediatrics
- Paediatric Practice
- Primary Care