The purpose of this research was to examine the relationship of child-feeding practices and other factors to overweight in low-income Mexican-American preschool-aged children.
Cross-sectional survey with anthropometric measurements of mothers and target children. Trained bilingual staff interviewed the parents to collect data on child-feeding strategies, food patterns, child’s health history, parental acculturation level, food insecurity, and other household characteristics.
Subjects and setting
Complete data were available from 204 low-income Mexican-American parents residing in California with at least one child aged 3 to 5 years.
Risk of overweight was defined as body mass index (BMI) (measured as weight [in kilograms]/height [in meters]2) ≥85th percentile and overweight was defined as BMI ≥95th percentile. The Student t test, χ2 test, and logistic regression were used.
Three variables were positively related to risk of overweight: birth weight (odds ratio [OR], 2.31; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.11 to 4.82), mother’s BMI ≥30 (OR, 2.05; 95% CI, 1.11 to 3.79), and juice intake (OR, 2.33; 95% CI, 1.09 to 4.98). Being enrolled in the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children was negatively related to risk of overweight (OR, 0.40; 95% CI, 0.21 to 0.75). Additional variables related to overweight were monthly income >$1,500 (OR, 2.33; 95% CI, 1.00 to 5.42) and child takes food from the refrigerator between meals (OR, 0.32; 95% CI, 0.13 to 0.76).
The results of this study suggest that biological and socioeconomic factors are more associated with overweight in Mexican-American preschool-aged children than most of the self-reported child-feeding strategies.
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H. R. Melgar-Quiñonez is assistant professor, Department of Human Nutrition, Ohio State University, Columbus; at the time of the study, he was with the Department of Nutrition, University of California at Davis.
L. L. Kaiser is cooperative extension specialist, Department of Nutrition, University of California at Davis.
© 2004 American Dietetic Association. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.