Targeting family functioning, acculturative stress, and sugar-sweetened beverage consumption for obesity prevention: findings from the Hispanic community children's health study/study of Latino youth

BMC Public Health. 2020 Oct 14;20(1):1546. doi: 10.1186/s12889-020-09658-6.


Background: Maintaining a bond with one's family as well coping with stress while acculturating to the US may protect Hispanic/Latino youth from increased sugar-sweetened beverages (SSB) consumption, which heightens the risk for overweight and obesity. This study aims to examine associations between acculturative stress, family functioning, and SSB consumption by acculturation status among U.S. Hispanic/Latino youth.

Methods: With cross-sectional data on 1465 youth 8-16y (49.6% females) participating in the Hispanic Community Children's Health Study/Study of Latino Youth, we classified youths into four acculturation groups - assimilated, integrated, marginalized/separated, and unclassified. SSB consumption was assessed through two 24-h diet recalls and defined as intake frequency of soda, fruit juice, sweetened soft and fruit drinks. Multi-group path regression models were used to test associations of Hispanic/Latino youth' acculturative stress and family functioning with SSB consumption, as well as the moderating role of acculturation status.

Results: When controlling for age, sex, and study site, acculturative stress (β = - 0.13, p = 0.01) was inversely associated with SSB, and poor family functioning (β = 0.11, p = 0.07) was only marginally associated with SSB consumption among youth classified as assimilated but not among youth classified as integrated, marginalized/separated, or unclassified.

Conclusions: A socio-ecological perspective that incorporates the role of key acculturation-related factors across multiple levels may aid efforts to identify mechanisms that influence the relationship between acculturation status and diet among Hispanic/Latino youth and their families.

Keywords: Acculturation; Adolescence; Family functioning; Hispanic/Latino; Sugar-sweetened beverages (SSB) consumption.

MeSH terms

  • Acculturation*
  • Adolescent
  • Beverages
  • Child
  • Child Health
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Hispanic or Latino
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Obesity / prevention & control
  • Sugar-Sweetened Beverages*