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Title: Correlates of adiposity among Latino preschool children

item MENDOZA, JASON - Children'S Nutrition Research Center (CNRC)
item MCLEOD, JESSICA - Children'S Nutrition Research Center (CNRC)
item CHEN, TZU - Children'S Nutrition Research Center (CNRC)
item NICKLAS, THERESA - Children'S Nutrition Research Center (CNRC)
item BARANOWSKI, TOM - Children'S Nutrition Research Center (CNRC)

Submitted to: Journal of Physical Activity and Health
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/15/2012
Publication Date: 1/1/2014
Citation: Mendoza, J.A., McLeod, J., Chen, T.A., Nicklas, T., Baranowski, T. 2014. Correlates of adiposity among Latino preschool children. Journal of Physical Activity and Health. 11(1):195-198.

Interpretive Summary: Record numbers of children are affected by childhood obesity in the US. Latino preschoolers are affected more than most racial/ethnic groups, but there are few studies on risk factors specific for Latino preschoolers. We studied risk factors for obesity among Latino preschoolers, such as acculturation, parents' perception of neighborhood safety, and preschoolers' TV viewing and physical activity. With greater neighborhood safety, preschoolers had higher BMI z-scores. Preschoolers who attained more physical activity had lower BMI z-scores. Among Latino preschoolers, physical activity and their parents' perceptions of neighborhood safety were important influences on their risk of obesity. Programs and policies to prevent obesity should address these risk factors.

Technical Abstract: Childhood obesity is at record high levels in the US and disproportionately affects Latino children; however, studies examining Latino preschool children's obesity-related risk factors are sparse. This study determined correlates of Latino preschoolers' (ages 3-5 years) adiposity to inform future obesity interventions and policies. Latino preschoolers (n = 96) from 4 Head Start centers in Houston, Texas were recruited. Parents reported acculturation and neighborhood safety. Children's and parents' height and weight were measured. Children's television (TV) viewing was measured by TV diaries and physical activity by accelerometers. Linear regression was used with body mass index (BMI) z-score as the dependent variable and covariates sequentially added and retained in 4 blocks: 1) child age, gender, parent education, and BMI; 2) neighborhood safety and parent and child acculturation; 3) TV viewing; and 4) moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA). In the final model (n = 96), only neighborhood disorder (Beta = 0.30, P = .005) and MVPA (Beta = -0.21, P = .049) were significantly associated with BMI z-score. Among Latino preschoolers, higher neighborhood disorder and lower MVPA were associated with greater children's BMI z-scores.