Child obesity is considered a major health problem, in the prevention and treatment of which parents can play a key role. However, some parents belive obese children to be healthy, and do not really feel the need to participate in any preventive and treat-ment programs. Therefore, the aim of this study is to determine parental perception of obesity in their 6-12 year old children to assess what effect educa-tion could have on their concept. Materials and Methods: This study has been done in two stages (stage 1, descriptive and second stage, experimental). Weight, length and body mass index were calculated in 300, 6-12 year old children with BMI higher than standard for sex and age were se-lected as obese. Questionnaires were completed by one of the parents. Parents who did not believe their children to be obese, were divided raudomly into two groups. One group were made familiar with obesity during four, 2-hour, sessions while the other group were not. After two months, questionnaires were completed by the two groups and the data were compared. Results: Forty-one percent of the obese children were girls and 58.7% boys; 23.3% of their parents believed that their obese children were not over-weight, and 94.3% of those who participated in educational programs believed their children to be obese and overweight. No relationship was found between mother’s job and children’s sex and the mother’s perception. To conclude parental perceptions of their children being overweight need to be assessed and if neces-sary educative programs should be conducted to correct these concepts with a view to prevent and treat child obesity.
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