Factors related to obesity in Anglo and Mexican-American children.
AuthorDean, April Hancock.
Committee ChairLohman, Timothy G.
Harrison, Gail G.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractTo identify factors associated with obesity and ethnicity, the diets and selected behaviors of 47 Anglo and 51 Mexican-American (MA) 3-7 year-old children were examined in interviews with their mothers. Children also wore a Caltrac physical activity monitor. Obesity was assessed using four criteria: the 85th and 95th percentiles of weight-for-height z-scores, and the 85th and 95th percentiles of the mean z-score of triceps and subscapular skinfolds. Results indicate that MA children ingest more energy than do Anglo children. The MA children have higher intakes of sweets, soda pop, protein, fat exchanges, fruits, and vegetables, though the Anglos eat more vegetables relative to energy intake. Except for calcium, the MA children have greater intakes of the vitamins and minerals examined. The MA children watch approximately 20 minutes more television per day than the Anglos and they had lower mean hourly Caltrac values. The obese received lower subjective physical activity ratings by their mothers, and they viewed 1.5-1.8 more hours of television per day than did the nonobese. The obese were breast-fed less as infants and are more likely to live in a household with someone who smokes. Mothers of the obese, particularly the MA obese, gained more weight and consumed more caffeinated beverages during pregnancy. Obese MA were much less likely to receive vitamin supplements than the nonobese MA. Fathers of obese MA children were less educated than fathers of the nonobese. Among the MA, acculturation to the U.S. society was higher for mothers of the obese children. With maternal acculturation comes the adoption of several behaviors which may increase risk for development of obesity. Acculturation is negatively correlated with the intakes of several vitamins and minerals, milk, vegetable servings, and vitamin A foods. It is positively correlated with soda pop, pizza, and caffeine intakes, as well as child television viewing (r = 0.43) and weight gain during pregnancy (r = 0.32). It is negatively correlated with maternal rating of child physical activity (r = 0.37). Compared with Anglo children, the MA children more frequently engage in behaviors which may result in obesity for those genetically predisposed. They consume more energy, fat, sweets, and soda pop, and they are more sedentary.
Degree ProgramNutritional Sciences