249150 Longitudinal changes in overweight and obesity in Mexican American adolescents: The role of sociodemographic and behavioral characteristics

Monday, October 31, 2011

Larkin L. Strong, PhD, MPH , Department of Health Disparities Research, University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX
Melissa L. Bondy, PhD , Duncan Cancer Center, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX
Michele R. Forman, PhD , Epidemiology, University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX
Margaret R. Spitz, MD , Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX
Anna V. Wilkinson, PhD , Michael & Susan Dell Center for Healthy Living, University of Texas School of Public Health Austin Regional Campus, Austin, TX
Mexican American (MA) youth have disproportionately experienced the escalating obesity epidemic. Research is needed to understand the factors that contribute to and protect against excess weight gain in this population. We examine changes over time in the prevalence of overweight and obesity (using age and gender-specific CDC cut-offs of 85th and 95th percentiles, respectively) in 1,154 MA adolescents, who were on average 12 years of age at baseline. We then identify sociodemographic and behavioral factors associated with changes in overweight and obesity. From 2005 to 2008, average body mass index (BMI) based on measured height and weight increased from 23 to 25. Obesity prevalence was approximately 33% at baseline and follow-up, with boys significantly more likely to be obese than girls (p<0.001). Over time, 11% of normal weight and overweight, non-obese adolescents became overweight and obese, respectively, whereas 12% of adolescents who were overweight or obese at baseline shifted to a lower BMI percentile. Bivariate analyses indicated that the probability of becoming overweight/obese was associated with female gender, younger age, U.S. parental nativity, and longer parental residence in the U.S. The probability of lowering one's weight was associated with greater physical activity reported at follow-up and greater parental education. Parent and adolescent acculturation, adolescent nativity, smoking and TV viewing reported at follow-up were not associated with changes in weight. Different factors contributed to the probability of becoming overweight compared to reducing weight over time and should be considered for strategies to reduce the obesity epidemic in MA adolescents. Pubertal status and body composition were not measured; thus weight percentile might reflect body fat or muscle.

Learning Areas:
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
1. Describe recent trends in obesity prevalence among MA adolescents. 2. Describe the sociodemographic and behavioral factors associated with increased and decreased overweight over time in MA adolescents. 3. Discuss the implications of these findings for obesity prevention in MA adolescents.

Keywords: Obesity, Latinos

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am qualified to present because i am involved in obesity and physical activity research involving Mexican American adults and adolescents.
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.