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Low income mothers of overweight children had personal and environmental challenges in preventing and managing obesity

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QUESTIONS: What are the perceptions of low income mothers about their overweight preschool children? What barriers exist to the prevention or management of childhood obesity?


Qualitative study using focus groups.


Clinic of the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) in Cincinnati, Ohio, USA.


18 mothers (mean age 25 y, 72% black) of preschool children (mean age 44 mo, 61% girls) were enrolled in a nutrition clinic for women and their children living in low income households. 12 of the mothers (67%) were obese (body mass index [BMI] ≥30 kg/m2, 4 were overweight (BMI ≥25 kg/m2), and 2 were neither overweight nor obese. All of the children had a weight for height percentile (WHP) ≥50th percentile; 15 (83%) met the WIC definition of …

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  • Source of funding: US Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Service.

  • For correspondence: Dr A Jain, Department of Pediatrics, University of Chicago Children's Hospital, 5841 South Maryland Avenue, MC 6082, Chicago, IL 60637, USA. ajain{at}