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This study employed cross-sectional, descriptive design with convenience sampling to explore rural parent perceptions of child obesity, use of Body Mass Index (BMI) in schools, preferences for receipt of BMI information and, the rural school’s role in obesity prevention/treatment. The survey “Parental Perceptions of BMI and Obesity in the School-Age Child” was used. Of the 183 surveys distributed, 65 were returned (35.5%). Fifty-five percentage of parents were in agreement of school-based BMI screening. Fifty-four percentage of parents selected a combination of ways to receive BMI information (letter from school nurse, face-to-face conference with nurse, or via report card). Few parents (6.2%) were reluctant to schools addressing obesity. Significant relationships were identified between non-White, overweight parents who had overweight children (n = 3). They were more likely to disagree with removal of junk food, increasing physical activity, and recommending weight loss. Recommendations to involve parents in BMI screening are presented.


© 2011 The Author(s)



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