Child Obesity

PICOT Question: Do children (P) living with overweight/obese parents/guardians (I) have a higher risk of becoming obese (O) than children living with non-obese/normal weight parents/guardians (C) during their childhood to the adolescent stage (T)?

Child obesity presents a significant public health problem in the US and globally. A study by Bahreynian et al. (2017) argued that obese parents and guardians have a higher potential of having overweight or obese children than non-obese or normal-weight parents. The researchers maintained that parent plays a key role in determining the child’s BMI. Gray et al. (2018) argued that family factors, including the family’s food preferences and the type of food available, influence children’s food preferences, which might contribute to obesity. Besides, the mealtimes adopted by the family influence the type and amount of food consumed. Whether they are physically active or sedentary, family habits also influence the child’s habits and can be a causative factor for obesity. The researchers further noted that having an obese mother or living in a single-parent household contributes to childhood obesity.

Bennett and Blissett (2017) also observed that children from socioeconomically underprivileged backgrounds disproportionately carry the burden of obesity and overweight. The researchers this phenomenon to family environment, arguing that physical activity, parenting, and dietary behaviors are predominant and amenable to interventions of significant interest in childhood obesity. Larsen et al. (2018) observed that parental feeding behaviors, including breastfeeding, type of solid food, feeding formula and timing, parental pressure, and control behaviors, have been associated with childhood obesity. Li et al. (2018) noted that genetic factors also play a significant role in childhood obesity, in which obese parents are likely to have obese offspring.

A qualitative study using focus-group as the data collection method is the most appropriate for studying childhood obesity and parenting/family role. Various researchers, including Lidgate, Li, and Lindenmeyer (2018) and other scholars such as Bahreynian et al. (2017), whose works have been discussed in this paper, have adopted a qualitative explorative study approach to examine the impact of parenting/family on childhood obesity. I will adopt the results of the literature assessment to guide my evidence-based nursing practice, ensuring quality, effective, safe, and efficient care of obese children and their families. The literature on the relationship between childhood obesity and parenting or family patterns and behavior is critical when caring for such a population. It helps establish the root course of child obesity, whether family lifestyle or genetic factors and design appropriate intervention to address it. With nurses being in the frontline of health care, compared with other healthcare workers, nurse-led research is recognized as a vital pathway to practical and effective improving patient outcomes by providing evidence-based practice care (Curtis, Fry, Shaban, & Considine, 2017).


Important to adopt knowledge learned from literature into clinical practice through a knowledge translation to move the best evidence into my nursing practice to enhance patient care and outcomes. Focus group interviews can help in this process to collect data concerning the relationship between obesity and parenting and design interventions to correct the problem. Focus group discussion for this study can comprise active weight management caseworkers in the local areas to help the researcher familiarize with the context of childhood obesity and provide a preliminary to offer a theoretical understanding to help develop an effective discussion with parents. The second focus group discussion can comprise of parents to establish intervention targets. Focus group facilitate interaction among study participants and stimulates rich analysis of the situation and related data.


Bahreynian, M., Qorbani, M., Khaniabadi, B. M., Motlagh, M. E., Safari, O., Asayesh, H., & Kelishadi, R. (2017). Association between obesity and parental weight status in children and adolescents. Journal of clinical research in pediatric endocrinology9(2), 111.

Bennett, C., & Blissett, J. Parental monitoring may protect impulsive children from overeating. PediatrObes. 2017; 12 (5): 414-42.

Curtis, K., Fry, M., Shaban, R. Z., & Considine, J. (2017). Translating research findings to clinical nursing practice. Journal of clinical nursing26(5-6), 862-872.

Gray, L. A., Alava, M. H., Kelly, M. P., & Campbell, M. J. (2018). Family lifestyle dynamics and childhood obesity: evidence from the millennium cohort study. BMC public health18(1), 1-15.

Larsen, J. K., Sleddens, E. F., Vink, J. M., Fisher, J. O., & Kremers, S. P. (2018). General parenting styles and children’s obesity risk: changing focus. Frontiers in psychology, 2119.

Li, A., Robiou‐du‐Pont, S., Anand, S. S., Morrison, K. M., McDonald, S. D., Atkinson, S. A., & Meyre, D. (2018). Parental and child genetic contributions to obesity traits in early life based on 83 loci validated in adults: the FAMILY study. Pediatric obesity13(3), 133-140.

Lidgate, E. D., Li, B., & Lindenmeyer, A. (2018). A qualitative insight into informal childcare and childhood obesity in children aged 0–5 years in the UK. BMC public health18(1), 1-13.