Parental Reasons for Engaging in or Avoiding Weight Talk with Children

An Internet sample of 408 US parents (64% mothers; 34% White, 33% Black, and 32% Hispanic/Latinx) completed a survey to quantitatively examine parental reasons for engaging in and avoiding weight talk. Parents cited concern for their child’s health as a primary reason for weight talk, whereas avoidance stemmed from not wanting their child to be weight-obsessed. White and Hispanic vs. Black parents, and parents with experienced weight stigma, were more likely to cite personal struggles with body weight as reasons to both engage in and avoid weight talk. Fathers vs. mothers were more likely to cite protecting their child from weight-based bullying as a reason for weight talk. Understanding these parental motivations can inform health interventions.

Full citation: Pudney, E. V., Puhl, R. M., Halgunseth, L. C., & Schwartz, M. B. (2022). Parental reasons for engaging in or avoiding weight talk with children. Childhood Obesity.