Poor Appetite in School Children: Is It a False Perception of Parents?
Journal of Pediatric Research
ABS TRACT ÖzeT Aim: Poor appetite is a common symptom in childhood that can either be organic or nonorganic. Prolonged poor appetite may affect children's growth negatively. However picking at food or refusing to eat stresses parents out. In this study, we aimed to investigate the relationship between parental perception of the child's body measurements and appetite in school children who were admitted to the outpatient clinic with the complaint of sustained poor appetite. Materials and
... terials and Methods: A total of 105 school children (6-15 years old) with the complaint of poor appetite who were investigated several times previously with no organic reason were included in the study. The study was conducted with a questionnaire that was filled out by parents recording demographics. Anthropometric measurements including body weight and height were measured by the same researcher. Body mass index was calculated and BMIfor-age was determined. Patients with normal BMI percentile values and patients with low BMI percentile values were compared. Results: 105 children (M/F: 51/54) with a mean age of 8.2±1.9 years were studied. Mean body weight and height of children were 23.8±5.7 kg and 124.1±11.6 cm, respectively. Mean BMI of children was 15.2±1.5. According to BMI percentiles 65.7% (n=69) of children were normal weight, 30.5% (n=32) were underweight, and 3.8% (n=4) were overweight. When compared in terms of BMI percentiles no difference was found between the groups. Conclusion: Perception of the parents of their children's growth is influenced by many factors and usually does not reflect the facts. In our study, we found that the majority of the children with poor appetite were in normal weight range according to BMI percentile. Nevertheless, nearly one third of the children were underweight, a fact that should not be ignored.