Conversations with parents of infants: Opinions on best ways to feed and prevent obesity
Infancy is the earliest opportunity to promote healthful eating habits and decrease obesity risk, but few early pediatric obesity prevention studies exist that specifically target the views of parents toward feeding their infant. This study used a general qualitative approach to explore parents’ perceptions regarding the causes of early pediatric obesity, various ways of feeding infants, and communication preferences with their infant’s healthcare provider to guide the development of an early obesity prevention intervention. Focus groups and structured interviews were conducted with fifteen parents of healthy, term infants. The two primary themes identified from the data were “Parental Attitudes about Feeding or Parenting” and “Parental Preferences about Feeding Information.” Parents of infants are aware of the benefits of breastfeeding and delaying introduction of solids and sweets. However, they cite individual barriers to adopting healthy practices and want healthcare provider help. Understanding parental opinions surrounding infant feeding can help guide the development of theoretically driven interventions.