Predictors of Obesity in latino children: Acculturation as a moderator of the relationship between food insecurity and body mass index percentile


As Latino children acculturate to the United States, they are at risk for excess weight gain. Existing literature suggests that higher levels of food insecurity may predict obesity, but the role of acculturation is not well understood. Latino children ages 2-17 of both immigrant and non-immigrant parents (n = 63) were recruited from a primary care clinic serving low income families. Child anthropometric measures, and parent acculturation and food insecurity measures were collected via self-administered questionnaires. Over 63% of the patients were either overweight or obese according to criteria established by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Regression analysis revealed acculturation as a significant moderating variable between food insecurity and BMI percentile, F(5,12) = 4.836, P = .017, R 2 = .707 in children of Latino immigrants. The identification of this relationship may serve to facilitate in the development of future weight-gain prevention interventions in primary care settings within Latino immigrant populations. © 2009 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC.

Publication Title

Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health