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Title:Growing up in an Obesogenic World: Young Mexican Children’s Perceptions of Obesity and Health
Author(s):Aguayo, Liliana
Subject(s):Kinesiology and Community Health
Abstract:Research has the capacity to limit participants’ agency or empower them by acknowledging their autonomy and the diversity of their perspectives. My research proposes using visual context analysis to elucidate young children’s obesity experiences and utilize these to inform traditionally adult centered childhood-obesity prevention and treatment strategies. My image introduces children’s drawings of “someone with obesity,” and a “healthy family” collected in Mexico and the US. Recruited children were 5-6 year olds born to low-income Mexican mothers (n = 25). Children’s drawings organize stimuli, symbols, and processes of their world and their experiences. Drawings reveal children’s knowledge and the multiple, sometimes overlapping influences informing their perceptions (e.g. family life, social experiences, and culture). Despite differences in countries, developmental stages, and mastery of drawing skills, children’s use of circles for the body of obese characters, and other shapes for healthy individuals was consistent. Images of family mealtimes, playing with parents, and close knit extended families highlight situations children consider positive in their everyday lives. Images support employing child-centered, cognitively-appropriate, participatory research methodologies and confirm that behaviors modeled during early childhood strongly influence children’s creation of meanings, development of habits, and obesity risks.
Issue Date:2017
Rights Information:Copyright 2017 Liliana Aguayo
Date Available in IDEALS:2017-04-17

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