Childhood obesity is on the rise in many low- and middle-income countries, including South Africa. The aim of this qualitative study was to explore parents’ perspectives on childhood obesity and related behaviours, such as children’s eating habits and physical activity.
Data collection for this study was completed in January 2019, and involved in-depth interviews with 16 parents (14 mothers, 2 fathers) of preschool-aged children in four different neighbourhoods in Soweto, South Africa. Participants were recruited via four preschools, and written informed consent was obtained from each participating parent. The interviews took place in the homes of participants, and covered various topics related to childhood obesity, children’s health-related behaviours, ideas about parenting and parenthood, and different aspects of the environment and family circumstances.
Data are currently being analysed using thematic analysis, and resulting outputs will feed into intervention development processes in collaboration with colleagues at the University of the Witwatersrand.