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J Immigr Minor Health. 2012 Dec;14(6):1023-9. doi: 10.1007/s10903-012-9592-8.

Associations among parent acculturation, child BMI, and child fruit and vegetable consumption in a Hispanic sample.

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Graduate School of Public Health, San Diego State University, San Diego, CA 92182, USA.


The objective of this study was to investigate the association of parent acculturation with child fruit and vegetable consumption and obesity, as measured by body mass index (BMI). Participants included 250 Mexican-American and other Hispanic families living within San Diego County. Height and weight measurements were collected to calculate the age- and sex-specific BMI for each child and parent, and parents completed self-administered surveys. Child BMI z-score was significantly related to parent BMI after controlling for parent acculturation and parent birth place (β = 0.05, p < 0.01). Child fruit consumption was significantly associated with parent acculturation (β = -0.02, p = 0.01) and parent BMI (β = 0.02, p = 0.04) after adjusting for the other variables in the model. Child vegetable consumption was not significantly related to parent acculturation. Findings suggest that parental weight status may be more predictive of child obesity than acculturation, and highlight the need to examine culturally relevant behavioral and psychosocial factors related to childhood obesity and dietary behaviors.

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