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J Immigr Minor Health. 2013 Aug 31. [Epub ahead of print]

Child Feeding Practices and Overweight Status Among Mexican Immigrant Families.

Author information

  • 1Department of Medicine and Nutrition, University of Guanajuato, Blvd. Puente del Milenio #1001 Fracción del Predio de San Carlos, 37670, León, Guanajuato, Mexico, vebe69@hotmail.com.


The purpose was to compare maternal perceptions, feeding practices, and overweight status of children in immigrant households in California (US) with a cohort in Guanajuato, Mexico (MX). In 2006, staff interviewed mothers and weighed and measured their children, 1-6 years (US: n = 95 and MX: n = 200). Prevalence of overweight [body mass index z-score (BMIZ) >1.0 and <1.65] and obesity (BMIZ > 1.65) was 21.1 and 28.4 % in the US respectively, compared to 11.5 and 12.9 % in MX (p < 0.001). No differences were observed in maternal ability to identify correctly the child's weight status or ever being told the child was overweight. US children ate away from home more often (p < 0.0001), had fewer family meals (p < 0.0001), and played outdoors less often than MX children (p < 0.0002). Further analyses should examine how differences in eating and activity patterns explain the disparity in childhood obesity across the countries.

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