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Table 1 Themes, subthemes and codes emerged from the data

From: Caregivers’ perceptions, challenges and service needs related to tackling childhood overweight and obesity: a qualitative study in three districts of Shanghai, China

Main themes Subthemes Codes
Caregiver perceptions of children’s weight Underestimation of children’s weight status Thin, chubby, little fatties
Chubby children as a sign of good parental care
Normal for children to be chubby
OWO as sign of good parenting and feeding competence; chubby children a sign of good health
Chubby children are normal; will become thinner when growing up.
Caregiver beliefs about the health consequence of childhood OWO Negative effect of OWO on short term health
Negative effects on long-term health
Bad for health; slower development, lacking confidence;
Diabetes, hypertension, metabolic diseases
Positive effects of childhood overweight Less likely to get sick
Challenges related to dealing with childhood OWO Difficulties controlling child’s dietary intake Using food to stop children from crying; grandparents’ indulgent feeding practices; picky eaters; temptation of junk food.
Difficulties in increasing children’s physical activities Lack of awareness among grandparents; lack of venues and facilities for physical activities
Inadequate guidance from health professionals Inadequate communications and information from health providers
Information needs regarding childhood OWO prevention Demand for more detailed advice on childhood feeding and physical activity What foods to add at different month of age; what kind of and what level of exercise is suitable for children of different age
Access to reliable information Public hospitals; information from professionals
Preference of online information Not easy to get people together to attend lectures; Online information, e.g. via WeChat, is convenient.