Factors Influencing Parents’ and Children’s Misperception of Children’s Weight Status: a Systematic Review of Current Research

  • Rosanne Blanchet
  • Cris-Carelle Kengneson
  • Alexandra M. Bodnaruc
  • Ashley Gunter
  • Isabelle GirouxEmail author
Psychological Issues (V Drapeau and V Ivezaj, Section Editors)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Psychological Issues


Purpose of Review

Misperception of children’s weight status is prevalent among parents and children themselves and may impact parents’ and children’s health behaviors. This study was conducted in order to provide a descriptive systematic review of research on factors influencing parents’ and children’s misperceptions of children’s weight status published in the past 5 years.

Recent Findings

Factors studied most often in relation to parents’ and children’s misperception included children’s weight status, gender, and age, as well as parents’ weight status, parental education levels and socioeconomic status, and ethnicity. Most determinants that were found to have a significant influence on misperception in parents also did in children.


The literature on misperception of children’s weight status is extensive. Most determinants assessed in included studies were known determinants of childhood obesity. Further research should be directed toward better understanding the impact of weight status perception (whether it is accurate or not) on health behaviors and weight gain over time.


Weight status Misperception Children Parents Obesity 


Funding Information

Rosanne Blanchet was supported by a Banting Postdoctoral Fellowship. Cris-Carelle Kengneson was supported by masters’ awards from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and the Consortium national de formation en santé – Volet Université d’Ottawa. Alexandra Bodnaruc was supported by an Ontario Graduate Studies doctoral award.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

All authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.


Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of major importance

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rosanne Blanchet
    • 1
  • Cris-Carelle Kengneson
    • 2
  • Alexandra M. Bodnaruc
    • 3
  • Ashley Gunter
    • 2
  • Isabelle Giroux
    • 3
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Agricultural, Food & Nutritional Sciences, Faculty of Agricultural, Life & Environmental SciencesUniversity of AlbertaEdmontonCanada
  2. 2.Interdisciplinary School of Health Sciences, Faculty of Health SciencesUniversity of OttawaOttawaCanada
  3. 3.School of Nutrition Sciences, Faculty of Health SciencesUniversity of OttawaOttawaCanada

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