BACKGROUND: The prevalence of childhood obesity is high, particularly among minority youth. The objective of this article was to evaluate parent and school staff perspectives of childhood health and weight qualitatively to guide the development of a school-based obesity prevention program for minority youth. METHODS: Hispanic parents (N=9) of first graders participated in 1 of 3 focus groups, consisting of 3 parents each. School staff (N=7) participated in 1 focus group. All sessions were digitally recorded and transcribed verbatim. Using NVivo, 2 independent coders rated the transcriptions to identify themes and a third coder addressed commonalities and discrepancies in the coding schemes. RESULTS: Parents and school staff have conflicting views over whose responsibility it is to provide nutritional education and participation in physical activity (PA). Parents felt the school should teach children about healthy nutrition, provide guidance in the cafeteria, and offer more structured PA in school. In contrast, school staff noted that parents have the primary responsibility of ensuring children get adequate nutrition and PA. CONCLUSIONS: Despite contrasting views, parents and staff agreed with the need for comprehensive school-based obesity prevention efforts emphasizing parent and teacher collaboration to promote healthy school and home environments.
- Focus group
- Pediatric obesity
- School based
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health