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J Immigr Minor Health. 2011 Apr;13(2):268-75. doi: 10.1007/s10903-009-9288-x.

Risk factors for obesity and high blood pressure in Chinese American children: maternal acculturation and children's food choices.

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  • 1Department of Family Health Care Nursing, School of Nursing, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, CA 94143, USA.


The objective of this study is to explore risk factors associated with overweight and high blood pressure in Chinese American children. Students and their parents were recruited from Chinese language schools in the San Francisco Bay Area. Data were collected on 67 children and their mothers, and included children's weight, height, waist and hip circumferences, blood pressure, level of physical activity, dietary intake, usual food choice, knowledge about nutrition and physical activity, and self-efficacy regarding diet and physical activity. Mothers completed questionnaires on demographic data and acculturation. About 46% of children had a body mass index exceeding the 85th percentile. Lower level of maternal acculturation is a risk factor for overweight and higher waist to hip ratio. Children's unhealthy food choices were predictive of high body mass index and high systolic blood pressure, whereas older age and less physical activity in children were predictors of high diastolic blood pressure. Developing culturally sensitive and developmentally appropriate interventions to reduce overweight and high blood pressure is critical to reduce health disparities among minority children.

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