Relationship of child-feeding practices to overweight in low-income Mexican-American preschool-aged children

J Am Diet Assoc. 2004 Jul;104(7):1110-9. doi: 10.1016/j.jada.2004.04.030.


Objective: The purpose of this research was to examine the relationship of child-feeding practices and other factors to overweight in low-income Mexican-American preschool-aged children.

Design: Cross-sectional survey with anthropometric measurements of mothers and target children. Trained bilingual staff interviewed the parents to collect data on child-feeding strategies, food patterns, child's health history, parental acculturation level, food insecurity, and other household characteristics. Subjects and setting Complete data were available from 204 low-income Mexican-American parents residing in California with at least one child aged 3 to 5 years. Outcomes measured Risk of overweight was defined as body mass index (BMI) (measured as weight [in kilograms]/height [in meters](2)) >/=85th percentile and overweight was defined as BMI >/=95th percentile. The Student t test, chi(2) test, and logistic regression were used.

Results: Three variables were positively related to risk of overweight: birth weight (odds ratio [OR], 2.31; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.11 to 4.82), mother's BMI >/=30 (OR, 2.05; 95% CI, 1.11 to 3.79), and juice intake (OR, 2.33; 95% CI, 1.09 to 4.98). Being enrolled in the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children was negatively related to risk of overweight (OR, 0.40; 95% CI, 0.21 to 0.75). Additional variables related to overweight were monthly income >$1,500 (OR, 2.33; 95% CI, 1.00 to 5.42) and child takes food from the refrigerator between meals (OR, 0.32; 95% CI, 0.13 to 0.76).

Conclusions: The results of this study suggest that biological and socioeconomic factors are more associated with overweight in Mexican-American preschool-aged children than most of the self-reported child-feeding strategies.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acculturation
  • Beverages*
  • Birth Weight / physiology*
  • Body Mass Index
  • Child Nutritional Physiological Phenomena
  • Child, Preschool
  • Confidence Intervals
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Diet Surveys
  • Feeding Behavior
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Maternal Behavior
  • Mexican Americans*
  • Mother-Child Relations
  • Mothers / psychology*
  • Obesity / ethnology
  • Obesity / etiology*
  • Odds Ratio
  • Poverty*
  • Risk Factors
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • United States