181660 Stunted, normal weight, and overweight children: What changes occur in their environments across time?

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Elizabeth Reifsnider, PhD, APRN, BC , School of Nursing, University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, TX
Purpose: The purpose of this study was to examine the differences that exist between children from the same population who are growth-stunted, normal in weight and height, or overweight. The differences were categorized into individual, home/family, and community level variables and the variables were examined for changes across time.

Background: The conceptual framework of the study was the Ecological Model of Growth that uses human ecology and the epidemiological triangle as its organizing principles. This study examined the factors common in the environment of children who obtain services from a large, metropolitan WIC Program to determine if differences in environmental factors can be found in children who differ in weight, height, and BMI, and if the differences change across 6 months.

Method: The sample consisted of 300 Mexican American children ages 2 to 3, who were stunted (height for age<5th%), normal (BMI for age <85th%) or overweight (BMI for age > 95th%). The variables examined were children's weight and height, diet, TV watching; parents' BMI, acculturation status, employment and leisure activities; maternal-child relationship and home environmental stimulation. The variables were measured six months apart during WIC certifications.

Results: Differences between individual and family variables exist between children and parents from the same population who utilize WIC services. Variables can be analyzed by ecological level. Parents' leisure activities, diet, cultural backgrounds, and relationship with their children all impact their children's sizes.

Implications: Ways to promote healthy growth in children include retention of traditional Mexican diet, encouraging breastfeeding and discouraging bottle use after the age of 1, promoting outdoors activities, and promoting maternal-child interactions that are play-based and not food-based.

Learning Objectives:
At the end of this presentation, the learner will: 1. Understand the relationship of a ecological child growth model to changes in children’s growth; 2. Identify the individual-level variables that are most associated with child growth; 3. Identify the family-level variables that are most associated with child growth.

Keywords: Obesity, WIC

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I conducted the research that produced the results presented.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.

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