Dietary patterns of obese children: Maternal perceptions and experiences

ABSTRACT Objective: To understand maternal perceptions and experiences regarding the eating habits of obese children aged five to nine years. Methods: This is a qualitative research, and semi-structured interviews and discourse analysis were used to interpret narratives of 13 women from the city of Fortaleza, Ceará state, Brazil. Results: These women described the eating habits of their obese children in terms of how they eat and mentioned: eating fast, eating in front of the television, secret eating, eating large amounts of food, and the consumption of processed foods that are high in fat, sugars, and sodium. Conclusion: Seeing the mother and her obese child as a unit that needs support and guidance is a big step to plant the seeds to reap the rewards, i.e., exerting important impacts on the lives of these families and on the current scenario of childhood obesity.