The health care provider's experience with fathers of overweight and obese children
The purpose of this study was to uncover the experience of health care providers (HCPs) as they work with fathers of children who are overweight and obese in the outpatient setting. Interpretative phenomenological analysis was used for data collection and analysis in this study. Seven HCPs were interviewed about their experiences. Two major themes emerged from the experiences of these HCPs: "dad in the backseat," and "paternal resistance." The theme of "dad in the backseat" captured to the HCPs' perception of parental roles and related stereotypes with respect to fathers' lack of presence in the health-care setting, family roles that relegate fathers to the backseat in dealing with this issue, and the tendency of fathers to take a passive role and defer to mothers in the management of their child's weight. "Paternal resistance" reflected the perceived tendency of the father to resist the acceptance of their child's weight as a problem, and to resist change and even undermine family efforts to make healthier choices. Health care providers' experiences of fathers as having a minimal role in the management of their child's overweight and obesity may lead them to neglect fathers as agents of change in this important issue.