Weight, exercise, and health: Children's perceptions

Julia A. Snethen, Marion E. Broome

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Childhood overweight is increasing, yet limited information is available on children's perspectives of overweight. The purpose of this investigation was to identify children's perspective of their weight, exercise, and health status. Participants were 17 children, 8 to 12 years of age, with body mass indexes 95% for age and gender. A qualitative investigation using a phenomenological approach was conducted with a thematic analysis. Themes that emerged included intellectual disconnect, body image incongruence, social importance, and exercise perspectives. Children correctly identified healthy and unhealthy behaviors: dietary intake and physical activity. Children's knowledge about healthy dietary intake and physical activities disconnected from actual health practices. Children demonstrated confusion about physical activity requirements: frequency, intensity, and duration. Nurses need to develop strategies to bridge disconnect between what children know and actual dietary intake and physical activities. Nurses are fundamental to increasing children's knowledge of physical activity requirements for health promotion and disease prevention.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)138-152
Number of pages15
JournalClinical Nursing Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 1 2007


  • Childhood overweight
  • Children's perceptions
  • Exercise
  • Weight

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nursing(all)

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