Salud Pública de México
Print version ISSN 0036-3634
FLORES-PENA, Yolanda; TREJO-ORTIZ, Perla M; GALLEGOS-CABRIALES, Esther C and CERDA-FLORES, Ricardo M. Validity of two tests to evaluate maternal perception of child's weight. Salud pública Méx [online]. 2009, vol.51, n.6, pp.489-495. ISSN 0036-3634. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0036-36342009000600007.
OBJETIVE: To assess maternal perception of their children weight using words (PP) and using images (PI) and evaluate the validity of the two tests by determining their sensitivity and specificity. MATERIAL AND METHODS: A total of 418 mother-child diads were selected from urban areas in the Monterrey, Nuevo León area. A questionnaire was administered to the mothers about perceptions regarding physical appearance and health. Sensitivity and specificity were calculated and the body mass index measurement of the child was the gold standard. RESULTS: Mothers underestimated overweight (SP) and obesity (OB), with 20.34% of mothers of children with SP and 7.41% of children with OB perceiving their child's condition with the PP test, and 62.71% of mothers of children with SP and 81.48% of those of children with OB perceiving it with the PI test. The tests had 12% sensitivity and 21% specificity for PP and 75% sensitivity and 15% specificity for PI. CONCLUSIONS: The mothers of children with SP-OB underestimate the weight of their children. Images are useful for mothers to recognize their child's condition.
Keywords : obesity; weight perception; visual perception; validity of tests; body weight; mothers; Mexico.