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A description of body mass index in a population of border children

Martha Conkling Tromp, MSPH and Miguel A. Zuniga, MD, DrPH. Health Policy and Management, Texas A&M University School of Rural Public Health, 3000 Briarcrest Dr., Suite 300, Bryan, TX 77802, 979-458-3031, mctromp@srph.tamushsc.edu

Research Objective: To describe the body mass index (BMI) of Hispanic children living in a Texas/Mexico border region. Methods: Intervention goals of a project taking place in Hildalgo County, Texas are: improve the ability of promotoras to impact health behaviors of Colonia residents, increase health services access and utilization rates. A household survey was conducted from December 2002 – April 2003. Respondents totaled 646 and were selected randomly through block groups, then households, then residents within households. Interview subjects were a child, the head of the household, or another adult in the household. Discussion: Of the 200 children in the survey, 117 had height and weight data collected. They are between 4 to 17 years old and have a mean BMI of 24 which is “overweight” for children over 16 years and a measure of “obesity” in children less than 11 years old. Over 67% of children with a BMI greater than 25 are enrolled in preschool through the 4th grade. Other characteristics of these children include: 38% have 1-4 chronic diseases, they are living in households earning less than $14,600, and 65% of these children do not have health insurance. Conclusions: The range and upper end values of BMI for these children is a cause of concern. Medical conditions associated with obesity include diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and coronary heart disease which are observed in the adult population of these Colonias. Many of these children have a chronic disease burden and most do not have health insurance.

Learning Objectives: At the end of the session the participant will be able to

Keywords: Children's Health, Obesity

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.

Provider / Family Interaction to Improve Child Health

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