To examine how urban parents' perceptions of healthy infant size and growth relate to objective weight-for-length percentiles of their children, parents of 222 (69% minority) 6- to 27-month-old infants were surveyed. In all, 41% of parents said growth charts had never been explained to them, and 31% were not confident they understood the meaning of chart percentiles. A total of 20% of parents preferred their child weigh ≥75th percentile, and these children had higher mean weight-for-length percentiles than their peers (P =.05). Similarly, 37% of parents agreed that "a chubby baby is a healthy baby," and these children had higher mean weight-for-length percentiles than others in the cohort ( P =.02). Additionally, 58% of parents ranked a growth curve with consistent growth at the 10th percentile as the "least healthy" of 6 infant growth curves. Growth charts are not consistently explained to or understood by urban parents, and many prefer early life growth patterns associated with later obesity.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health