Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology


College of Liberal Arts

Type of Degree


Document Type


First Advisor

Marianna Footo Linz

Second Advisor

Steven Mewaldt

Third Advisor

William Joseph Wyatt


Childhood obesity rates have risen dramatically in the past 50 years. Interest in the issue of obesity in the United States has grown significantly as our population has become increasingly heavier and our obesity associated health issues have become ever more apparent. Childhood obesity is a persistent problem as 80% of obese children grow up to be obese adults. Despite the alarming increase in childhood obesity little has been done to reverse this epidemic. The purpose of the present study was to determine if parents are able to identify excess weight in children other than their own. It was hypothesized that we have become desensitized to excess weight because of its prevalence and as a result, parents would not only be unable to recognize excess weight in their own children, but they would also fail to recognize excess weight in other children. Eighty-four parents completed surveys that required them to categorize their own child in the appropriate weight category and then to view 14 pictures of other children in various weight categories and classify them into appropriate weight categories. The results were consistent with the hypothesis as parents were unable to identify excess weight in both their own children, and in other children.


Obesity in children


Childhood obseity