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Master Thesis

Représentations liées au poids chez les parents d’enfants d'âge préscolaire en milieu défavorisé

Abstract : Context: Paediatric obesity is a major public health problem in France and worldwide. It notably affects vulnerable populations in which its prevalence increases. The preschool age is a period of lifestyle and eating habits acquisition during which the first signs of overweight can appear. This is also the age when measures for the early prevention of overweight are initiated. Aim: The main objective of this study was to explore, in a sample of a vulnerable population in Isère and Savoie, the perceptions of parents of children aged between 3 and 6 years, concerning their child's weight and the risk of being overweight. Method: This study was carried out using a qualitative methodology, based on semi-directed interviews with parents of children of all weights who are followed up in a medical centre in a priority neighborhood of the city. The interviews have been recorded and transcribed, and then subjected to thematic analysis using an inductive method with data triangulation. Results: All in all, 20 interviews have been conducted. The parents used two categories of markers to evaluate their child's weight: subjective criteria (clothing, comparison with other children, physical appearance, medical references) and objective criteria (weight, health record curves). The parents cited the socio-familial environment as an influencing factor in their assessment. This gave rise to a kind of family norm that could affect their assessment. Overweight was considered to be secondary to dietary errors, excessive sedentary behavior, or emotional factors. The role of sedentary lifestyle linked to screens was less recognized. The consequences of being overweight were recognized as potentially serious, due to its impact on health and self-esteem. Parents felt responsible for their child's weight and perceived the need to work towards a normal weight for their child. However, they expressed some difficulties in combining the various recommendations for preventing overweight with the need to please their child and fulfil a nurturing role considered as essential. Conclusion: Parents living in areas, which are considered to be socially disadvantaged, had some knowledge of their child's overweight, its risk factors, and its consequences. They had more trouble in judging the child's correct weight. They were influenced by their socio-familial environment, were afraid of thinness, and were concerned about not feeding their child enough. Parental representations of the child's weight appeared to be an important set of data to be investigated and taken into account during medical consultations focused on the risk of overweight and obesity in children.
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Master Thesis
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Submitted on : Thursday, May 20, 2021 - 4:03:58 PM
Last modification on : Saturday, May 22, 2021 - 3:22:57 AM
Long-term archiving on: : Saturday, August 21, 2021 - 6:50:41 PM


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  • HAL Id : dumas-03231293, version 1
  • PPN : 255484038


Cassandre Lernould, Mélissa Gueraud. Représentations liées au poids chez les parents d’enfants d'âge préscolaire en milieu défavorisé. Médecine humaine et pathologie. 2021. ⟨dumas-03231293⟩



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