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J Nutr. 2000 Jul;130(7):1734-42.

Biobehavioral factors are associated with obesity in Puerto Rican children.

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  • 1Department of Nutritional Sciences, University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT 06269, USA.


The purpose of this case-control study was to identify predictors of obesity among Puerto Rican children from Hartford, CT. The study included 53 prepubertal children, 31 girls and 22 boys, between 7 and 10 y of age. Children were classified as obese [n = 29, body mass index (BMI) >/= 85th percentile] or controls (n = 24, BMI < 85th percentile). Multivariate logistic regression analyses indicated that frequency of fruit juice consumption [odds ratio (OR), 95% confidence interval (CI); 4.02, 1.48-10.95], hours of daily TV viewing (1.86, 1.02-3.42), maternal BMI (1.39, 1.10-1.77) and lower dairy product intake (0.41, 0.19-0.93) were associated with obesity. Television viewing was correlated (P < 0.05) with lower physical activity in girls, and with higher snacking frequency and sweets consumption in boys. Obese children were more likely than controls to have higher systolic and diastolic blood pressures and to have experienced more ear infections and diarrhea during the previous year. Results provide evidence of the multifactorial nature of childhood obesity in this community.

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