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Effects of Enhancing School-Based Body Mass Index Screening Reports with Parent Education on Report Utility and Parental Intent To Modify Obesity Risk Factors

Bailey-Davis, Lisa, Peyer, Karissa L., Fang, Yinan, Kim, Jae-Kwang, Welk, Greg J.
Childhood obesity 2017 v.13 no.2 pp. 164-171
beverages, body mass index, childhood obesity, children, elementary schools, health care workers, parent education, parents, regression analysis, risk factors, screening, sleep, surveys
Background: School-based body mass index screenings (SBMIS) have been controversial. We aimed to determine if parents would indicate improved utility with SBMIS when the report included parent education and whether parental intent to modify obesity risk factors would vary with report type or child weight.Methods: A cluster-controlled trial was conducted with 31 elementary schools randomized to distribute a standard SBMIS report or the standard report plus education (SBMIS+). A random subsample of parents completed a mailed survey (731 SBMIS, 738 SBMIS+). Using a two-stage cluster sampling design, logistic regression models with school-level random effect were used to assess differences between conditions and by weight category.Results: Parents in the SBMIS+ condition vs. the standard condition were more likely to indicate that the report provided useful information (not significant) and an intent to help their child get enough sleep (p < 0.001). Parents of children who were overweight or obese were less likely than parents of children who were not to indicate that the report provided useful information about their child's weight status (p < 0.001) or access to resources (p < 0.05). However, these parents were more likely to plan a visit to healthcare provider (p < 0.001) and to intend to limit sugar-sweetened beverages (p < 0.05).Conclusions: Parental education can enhance the utility of the SBMIS report and parental intention to modify at least one obesity risk factor. SBMIS reports prompted parents of children with overweight and obesity to seek clinical care and limit sugar-sweetened drinks.