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Predictors of Severe Obesity in Low-Income, Predominantly Hispanic/Latino Children: The Texas Childhood Obesity Research Demonstration Study
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  • Alternative Title:
    Prev Chronic Dis
  • Description:

    The objective of this study was to identify predictors of severe obesity in a low-income, predominantly Hispanic/Latino sample of children in Texas.


    This cross-sectional analysis examined baseline data on 517 children from the secondary prevention component of the Texas Childhood Obesity Research Demonstration (TX CORD) study; data were collected from September 2012 through February 2014. Self-administered surveys were used to collect data from parents of children who were aged 2 to 12 years, had a body mass index (BMI) in the 85th percentile or higher, and resided in Austin, Texas, or Houston, Texas. Multivariable logistic regression models adjusted for sociodemographic covariates were used to examine associations of children’s early-life and maternal factors (large-for-gestational-age, exclusive breastfeeding for ≥4 months, maternal severe obesity [BMI ≥35.0 kg/m2]) and children’s behavioral factors (fruit and vegetable consumption, physical activity, screen time) with severe obesity (BMI ≥120% of 95th percentile), by age group (2–5 y, 6–8 y, and 9–12 y).


    Across all ages, 184 (35.6%) children had severe obesity. Among children aged 9 to 12 years, large-for-gestational-age at birth (odds ratio [OR] = 2.31; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.13–4.73) was significantly associated with severe obesity. Maternal severe obesity was significantly associated with severe obesity among children aged 2 to 5 years (OR = 2.67; 95% CI, 1.10–6.47) and 9 to 12 years (OR = 4.12; 95% CI, 1.84–9.23). No significant association was observed between behavioral factors and severe obesity in any age group.


    In this low-income, predominantly Hispanic/Latino sample of children, large-for-gestational-age and maternal severe obesity were risk factors for severe obesity among children in certain age groups. Promoting healthy lifestyle practices during preconception and prenatal periods could be an important intervention strategy for addressing childhood obesity.

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