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Obesity and food insecurity among Mexican-Indian children in a Mexican city

Montserrat Bacardi-Gascon, MD, Nutrition, Medical School, Calzada Tecnologico No14418, Tijuana, 22390, Mexico, 619 6568157, montserrat@uabc.mx, Arturo Jiménez-Cruz, MD PhD, Master of Nutrition, Universidad Autónoma de Baja California (Tijuana), Calzada Tecnológico 14418, Tijuana, 22390, Mexico, and JJ Cabrales, MD, Medical School, Universidad Autonoma de Baja California, Calzada Tecnológico 14418, 22390, Tijuana, 14418, Mexico.

Background: Previous studies have shown a high prevalence of overweight and obesity among Mexican-Indian children from migrant workers. Objective: The aim of this study was to assess the prevalence of overweight, obesity, and food insecurity among migrant children. Methods: During 2003-2004, a total of 782 children from four schools from the Tijuana Indian school system were measured to assess anthropometric status and interviewed for their perception of hunger experience. Cutoff points for BMI used to state ¨risk of overweight¨ and ¨overweight¨ were the 85th and 95th percentiles. Waist circumference values were compared to Taylor’s data. Children were classified as ‘hungry’ if they responded affirmatively to five out of five questions, and as ‘at risk of hunger’ if they responded positively to one or as many as four of the five questions related to food insecurity. Results: The overall prevalence of ¨risk of overweight¨ was 19%, and of overweight was 17%, while abdominal obesity was found in 25%. The prevalence of ¨risk of hunger¨ was 54%, and hunger was 6%. Conclusion: This study confirmed the coexistence of hunger and overweight among Indian children in the Mexico-US border city. Although the overall prevalence of overweight and abdominal obesity is similar than previously reported during a survey conducted in 2001-2002(38%), the prevalence of hunger has increased.

Learning Objectives:

  • At the conclusion of the session, the participant in this session will be able to

    Keywords: Obesity, Children

    Presenting author's disclosure statement:
    I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.

    Improving Services for Immigrants, Refugees, Women, and Youth

    The 132nd Annual Meeting (November 6-10, 2004) of APHA