Table 3.

Etiology: What Causes a Child to Be Overweight?

Theme 5.  Mothers believe that nature, genetics, or heredity determine weight.
5.1   My children's father, he's very slender and he can—he can shove some food down his mouth and not gain anything, and I don't see, I mean, how that can happen. I mean, you know. He has a high metabolism, but she (my daughter) doesn't. She just picked up my body frame, and she has to keep the food in her body.
5.2   You can't control it [weight].
5.3   Kids born in the nineties are big.
5.4   [She's] destined to be thick like me. If I was to press her down to her bones, she's still going to be thick.
5.5   So I think it's just—it's based on your family. If they're born big, they're going to stay big.
5.6   When you got a fat gene, you got a fat gene, and there's nothing you can do about it.
5.7   It's just her nature. That's just how she was born.
5.8   We're [child's parents] about the same size and our children don't really stand a chance of seeing skinny.
5.9   When he was like one to two, he was real big. So as he got to walking and playing with his sisters, he started losing the weight and started getting taller; so I think when the kids get older and the older they get and the more they get active, that they're going to lose the baby fat. Because that's what my son did—that's what—because I—I always have big kids. So—but when they get to walking and playing around, they start losing the weight.
5.10  They [clinic staff] were the ones that told me that my son was going to be overweight. She like—“Well, watch it.” I'm like “Well, watch what?” He's just three, he might be big because we are. I really didn't pay no attention to it.
5.11  J—- is starting to stretch, get longer. That's why I am not so concerned about his weight gain. As he gets taller, it evens out.
5.12  Well, she's going to be tall. She is going to sprout up because her dad is real tall.
Theme 6.  Parents' behaviors and family environment also influence a child's diet and activity patterns.
6.1   So I picked up the same habits that my mother had.
6.2   It's what you get them used to when they're small.
6.3   Nine times out of ten your child is going to go with whatever you go with. If you eat junk food all day, potato chips, cookies, pop, that's what they're going to do.
6.4   Keep them active and everything will be fine.