Submitted to: Journal of Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/1/2003
Publication Date: 4/1/2003
Citation: Nicklas, T., Morales, M., Micheli, N.E., Deshmukh-Taskar, P.R., Hughes, S.O. The prevalence of overweight in Head Start preschool children and their mothers. Journal of Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology. 2003;17:A294. Interpretive Summary: AN INTERPRETIVE SUMMARY IS NOT REQUIRED.
Technical Abstract: Childhood obesity is a public health problem. The goal of this study was to determine the prevalence of overweight in 193 mothers (excluding 9 pregnant mothers) (60% Hispanic- (HA) and 40% African-American (AA); ( age 30 years) and 231 preschool children (54% girls; and 46% boys; 55% HA and 45% AA; ( age 4 years). Mean BMI for mothers was 30; being higher among AA (( = 32) than HA (( = 29) (p < 0.01). Thirty-two percent of the mothers were overweight and 47% were obese. More HA mothers (38%) were overweight (BMI = 25) than AA (24%); however, more AA mothers (53%) were obese (BMI = 30) than HA (37%). Thirty-seven percent of the children were at risk for overweight (BMI = 85% tile) (17%) or were overweight (= 95% tile) (20%). More HA children were overweight (24%) than AA (14%) who had a higher percentage at risk for overweight (19% vs. 15% respectively). Child BMI was significantly correlated with maternal BMI (r = .41; p < 0.001) regardless of child ethnicity. Only boys BMI was significantly correlated with maternal BMI (r = .22; p < 0.05); specifically AA boys (r = .34; p < 0.05). The prevalence of overweight in Head Start children was 1.6 (AA) to 2.3 (HA) higher than national preschool data. These findings suggest that the prevalence of obesity is pervasive among Head Start mothers and that the prevalence of overweight in their preschool children exceed national averages.