“Childhood Obesity Risk in Overweight Mothers” the Article by James, K., Matsangas, P., & Connelly, C.


The authors of the paper delve into a topical issue of childhood obesity. The importance of the problem can be evidenced by the statistics related to the question as growing numbers of adolescents face the problem of obesity every year (James, Matsangas, & Connelly, 2013 ). For this reason, its investigation becomes a key to the improved understanding of the roots of the given issue and the way it emerges in different populations. For this reason, James et al. (2013) assume that there are factors that impact childrens eating behaviors and result in the development of obesity, and family dietary habits are one of them. For this reason, the following hypothesis was formulated:

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Childhood obesity risk among overweight women is higher if compare with other families adhering to appropriate dietary and nutritional behaviors.

The given hypothesis impacts the purpose of the study which is to examine childhood obesity risk among overweight women and to assess the feasibility of using screening tools in a busy clinic setting (Jones et al., 2013). In such a way, the central objectives of the given research article are to determine whether children living in families with poor dietary habits face the increased risk of developing extra weight and what tools can be used to reveal factors that might predispose children to obesity. Using a demographic and 20-item screening survey among obese mothers, the authors manage to prove their hypothesis (Jones et al., 2013). They conclude that maternal obesity remains a significant risk factor that might result in the emergence of childhood obesity and deterioration of the quality of adolescents lives. For this reason, it is critical to devote attention to working with this population group to eliminate one of the causes for the development of this health problem by educating families about healthy dietary habits.

Research Methods

Literature Review

Speaking about the research methods, it should be said that the authors do not provide a literature review to create the basis for their investigation or support their central assumptions. At the beginning of the paper, James et al. (2013) state that the conceptual model for their study comes from Golan and Weizmans theoretical perspective on families and how these units evolve. The model states that parents are the central change agents of the home environment that impact childrens behavior and dietary habits, which means that the positive change in children can be achieved by altering parental cognition, lifestyles, approaches to feeding, and communication styles (Jones et al., 2013). Accepting this idea, the authors of the paper do not review the additional literature to avoid unnecessary details.


As it has already been stated, the paper remains topical regarding the current situation in the healthcare sector and multiple health problems associated with the rapid development of obesity in diverse population groups including children. The topicality of the given question is also evidenced by the fact that there are numerous attempts to improve the situation and attain better outcomes without using pharmacological treatment. The preference is given to behavioral change and the cultivation of appropriate dietary habits along with the elimination of the causes for the development of obesity. That is why the papers relevance cannot be doubted as it suggests one of the methods to struggle against obesity by discovering new risk factors and how to work with target populations to determine them.

Type of Research

The character of the researched issue and peculiarities of the study precondition the use of a non-experimental cross-sectional design (Jones et al., 2013). The authors are not able to impact variables or introduce some additional factors that might affect participants and their dietary habits. Being interested in the development of particular inclinations and behaviors in children, the authors interviewed mothers to collect information about their childrens BMI using the Family Nutrition Physical Activity (FNPA) tool (Jones et al., 2013). At the same time, specific screening procedures were used. The choice of the given method helps to delve into the issue and perform the comprehensive analysis of targeted behaviors and childrens responses to them. That is why the authors utilize this approach to prove or refute their hypothesis and answer the research question.


The sample size for the given study is comprised of 98 overweight mothers (172 children between 2 and 18 years old) (Jones et al., 2013). All participants were selected among the patients of a weight loss clinic in southern California (Jones et al., 2013). There were no specific BMI retirements to patients to take part in the research. The participation was voluntary, and all individuals were able to refuse. They also provided informed consent. All patients were guaranteed confidentiality and preservation of the private information they would share during the research. Concerning the hypothesis and the central purpose of the given paper, the number of participants can be considered appropriate as it helped to reveal existing tendencies in families with poor dietary habits and associate them with childrens BMIs.

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Practical Utility

The authors of the research revolve around the significant and topical issues related to the modern healthcare sector. For this reason, the practical utility of the given paper is high. Results of the investigation can be applied to real-life conditions to determine the existence of risk factors in families with obese mothers and poor dietary habits. Moreover, regarding the fact, that parents with extra weight can be related to risk groups, specific education or training can be suggested to ensure that one of the causes for the emergence and development of obesity in children will be eliminated. James et al. (2013) also emphasize the importance of their paper and its ability to improve the existing situation by outlining a new risk factor and the ways to solve the current problem.


Despite numerous advantages, the study lacks recommendations on how the discovered correlation between mothers weight and childrens BMIs can be addressed to improve the situation in the sphere. For this reason, the introduction of additional information about training or education that can help parents to reconsider their dietary habits is the first way to improve the paper. Resting on the results of multiple interviews and surveys, it is possible to formulate recommendations on how to use these findings in real-life conditions and how to improve outcomes by explaining to mothers the necessity to adhere to healthy dietary habits and appropriate lifestyles. The given information can help to improve the situation in the sphere and reduce the number of obese children.


The authors style is clear and understandable. They use simple constructions to present the issue they investigate and outline the problem related to modern healthcare. Additionally, they preserve the narrative logic during the whole paper coming from one point to another. It helps to understand the central idea of the research better and follows the authors in their investigations related to the problem of childhood obesity and their development in families with poor dietary habits. People who do not have the background knowledge about this problem or who are just interested in it, can easily understand the central idea of the document and find useful information.

Further Research

The significance of the topic under investigation results in the constant emergence of new research papers devoted to it. For this reason, the given document can serve as the basis for further research related to the problem of childhood obesity, factors that trigger their development, and their elimination. Using the results of their study, the authors can continue to investigate family environments to determine other factors that impact children and their predisposal to consuming unhealthy food. At the same time, guidelines for families belonging to the risk group can be created to avoid problematic situations and minimize the risk of the development of obesity under the parental impact.


Altogether, the paper delves into the relevant problem of childhood obesity. Assuming the fact that it might emerge under the impact of wrong dietary habits cultivated in the family, the authors conduct a study among mothers who suffer from extra weight to determine their childrens BMIs and prove that there is a direct correlation between these two aspects. In the course of the non-experiment cross-sectional study, Jones et al. (2013) prove their hypothesis and reveal that the inappropriate maternal influence might trigger the development of obesity in children regardless of their age. For this reason, it is critical to devote attention to this issue to eliminate factors causing obesity.


James, K., Matsangas, P., & Connelly, C. (2013). Childhood obesity risk in overweight mothers: Support for screening. ICAN: Infant, Child, & Adolescent Nutrition, 5(6), 375-382.

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