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Public Health Nutr. 2015 Nov;18(16):3042-50. doi: 10.1017/S1368980014003309. Epub 2015 Jan 29.

Correlates of food patterns in young Latino children at high risk of obesity.

Author information

1
1Department of Nutrition,University of California at Davis,3207 Meyer Hall,One Shields Avenue, Davis,CA 95616-5270,USA.
2
2University of California Cooperative Extension,Woodland,CA,USA.
3
3University of California Cooperative Extension,Tulare,CA,USA.
4
4University of California Cooperative Extension,Bakersfield,CA,USA.
5
5Center for Transnational Health,University of California at Davis,Davis,CA,USA.
6
6Department of Human Ecology,University of California at Davis,Davis,CA,USA.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

The present paper examines the influence of age and gender on food patterns of Latino children.

DESIGN:

Data are from baseline of a 5-year, quasi-experimental obesity prevention study: Niños Sanos, Familia Sana (NSFS; Healthy Children, Healthy Families). In 2012, the researchers interviewed Latino parents, using a thirty-item questionnaire to ask about their children's food consumption and feeding practices. Statistical tests included t tests and ANCOVA.

SETTING:

Rural communities in California's Central Valley, USA.

SUBJECTS:

Two hundred and seventeen parents (87-89% born in Mexico) and their children (aged 2-8 years).

RESULTS:

Fifty-one per cent of the children were overweight or obese (≥85th percentile of BMI for age and gender). Mean BMI Z-scores were not significantly different in boys (1·10 (SD 1·07)) and girls (0·92 (SD 1·04); P=0·12). In bivariate analysis, children aged 2-4 years consumed fast and convenience foods less often (P=0·04) and WIC (Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children)-allowable foods more often than children aged 5-8 years (P=0·01). In ANCOVA, neither age nor gender was significantly related to food patterns. Mother's acculturation level was positively related to children's consumption of fast and convenience foods (P=0·0002) and negatively related to consumption of WIC foods (P=0·01). Providing role modelling and structure in scheduling meals and snacks had a positive effect on the vegetable pattern (P=0·0007), whereas meal skipping was associated with more frequent fast and convenience food consumption (P=0·04).

CONCLUSIONS:

Acculturation and child feeding practices jointly influence food patterns in Latino immigrant children and indicate a need for interventions that maintain diet quality as children transition to school.

KEYWORDS:

Acculturation; Children; Food patterns; Gender; Latino

PMID:
25631174
DOI:
10.1017/S1368980014003309
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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