Obesity-Related Behaviors of US and Non-US Born Parents and Children in Low-income Households
Published Date:Oct 2013
Source:J Dev Behav Pediatr. 34(8):541-548.
African Continental Ancestry Group
Body Mass Index
Emigrants And Immigrants
Randomized Controlled Trials As Topic
Pubmed Central ID:PMC4159704
Funding:1U48DP00194/DP/NCCDPHP CDC HHS/United States
T32 DK007703/DK/NIDDK NIH HHS/United States
To examine differences in obesity-related behaviors by parental US born status among low-income, minority families participating in Healthy Habits, Happy Homes, an intervention trial to improve household routines for childhood obesity prevention. Evidence suggests lower obesity risk among adult immigrants, but research is inconclusive regarding the influence of having a non-US born parent on childhood obesity.
We sampled 57 US born and 64 non-US born families of children ages 2–5.9 years living in the Boston area. At baseline, parents reported their own screen time, physical activity, diet, and sleep as well as their children’s behaviors. We used linear and logistic regression to examine the association of parental US born status with obesity-related behaviors.
Mean (SD) BMI z-score was 0.94 (1.16) and did not differ between groups. After adjusting for parental education and child race/ethnicity, children of non-US (v. US) born parents had later bedtimes (0.81 hours later; 95% CI: 0.37, 1.25) and wake-up times (0.56 hours later; 95% CI: 0.16, 0.95) and engaged in less active play (0.15 fewer hours/day; 95% CI: −0.28, −0.01). Non-US (v. US) born parents had less screen exposure.
In this cross-section of low-income, urban families, having a parent born outside the US was associated with a profile of risk and protective behavior; adjustment for education and race/ethnicity removed protective associations of parental nativity with child behavior. Obesity-related differences in behaviors and home environments should be considered when designing interventions targeting low-income communities with a high proportion of non-US born participants.
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