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Childhood obesity is a complex issue in which evidence describing strategies and methods for prevention are needed. It is important that the public’s perception of childhood obesity is understood. This includes determining attitudes about childhood obesity and assessing support for an array of policies and prevention initiatives. A multidisciplinary research team at The University of Southern Mississippi conducted the Mississippi Public Perception of Childhood Obesity telephone survey. Childhood obesity information was elicited from 1,352 Mississippi adults. Telephone interviewing was conducted using WinCATI on a sample selected using random-digit dialing. Data were weighted to reflect race, sex, and age distribution of the population. All analysis was performed using SPSS 14.0. There is widespread knowledge and understanding of the existence and problems resulting from or associated with childhood obesity. Mississippians have varying levels of concern, interest, and suggestions on how to address this problem. Data shows variation in their opinions by ethnicity, gender, age, and family composition; therefore, sensitivity to these disparities is warranted.Although more research is needed, obesity initiatives do exist and can be further used in Mississippi. To be successful, these initiatives require policy development, long-term strategies, and interventions based on solid evidence and best practices.


This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

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Online Journal of Rural and Urban Research





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