Lifestyle Behaviors of Obese Children Following Parental Weight Loss Surgery

Watowicz, Rosanna; Taylor, Christopher; Eneli, Ihuoma
February 2013
Obesity Surgery;Feb2013, Vol. 23 Issue 2, p173
Academic Journal
Background: Following weight loss surgery (WLS), patients are expected to make diet and lifestyle changes which may lead to children mimicking the changing behaviors of their parents. The purpose of the study was to identify the differences in diet and lifestyle behaviors between obese children with and without a parent who received WLS. Methods: Medical records of 45 children whose parents had undergone WLS and 90 age- and gender-matched control children were reviewed from a weight loss program in a large Midwest children's hospital. Differences in dietary choices and behaviors, perceived barriers, and sedentary behaviors were examined between both groups. Results: The mean age for the sample was 12.8 years. Children in the parental weight loss surgery (PWLS) group were more likely to eat two or more helpings of food at each sitting ( p = 0.02) and less likely to play outdoors for more than an hour each day ( p = 0.01). Compared to the control group, the PWLS group more frequently reported eating fast food on most days (45.2 vs. 27.0 %), soda consumption several times a week (48.6 vs. 29.4 %), and no vegetable intake (9.5 vs. 1.1 %). The top three barriers to exercise for both groups were lack of self-discipline, lack of interest, and lack of energy. Conclusions: Obese children who live with a parent that had undergone WLS reported several unhealthy lifestyle behaviors, in some cases worse than the children who live with parents who had not had WLS. Being cognizant of these findings will help obesity providers focus their counseling and expectations appropriately.


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