Date of Conferral
Doctor of Healthcare Administration, DHA
John W. Oswald
Children may become overweight or obese for different reasons, and childhood obesity may have health consequences such as Type 2 diabetes and asthma. The purpose of this qualitative phenomenological study was to describe the perceptions of African American parents of elementary-age children with obesity living in Broward County, Florida about the causes and consequences of childhood obesity. The health belief model (HBM) guided this study. Interview data were gathered from 9 participants who met the criteria of being African American parents of elementary-age children with obesity living in Broward County, Florida. Moustakas- steps to analyze the data collected led to the following themes: how parents became aware of the disease, parents- reaction to the diagnosis, whether the condition was related to genetics or lifestyle behavior, what the obese children eat daily, the importance of regular workout, consequences of obesity, actions taken, and type of help needed. Results demonstrated that most of the participants perceived childhood obesity as having 2 primary causes: food consumption and insufficient physical activities. Data also showed that many of the participants regarded childhood obesity as having negative consequences, not only for the children but also for their parents and other stakeholders. Positive social change can be achieved by parental acknowledgment that obesity has adverse health consequences to be considered seriously. Denial may have severe consequences and the commitment of policymakers and others who can affect lives of the overweight or obese children is needed.