Online Program

Predictors of hispanic parents' concern of childhood obesity

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Erica T. Sosa, PhD, MCHES, Department of Kinesiology, Health and Nutrition, University of Texas at San Antonio, San Antonio, TX
Introduction: Hispanic children are at risk of becoming overweight. Hispanic parents play a critical role in shaping their children's attitudes towards food and physical activity, especially in their formative years. Hispanic parents' views of childhood obesity and their concern for their child's weight are not well understood. The purpose of this study was to determine perceptions of Hispanic parents regarding childhood obesity and identify factors associated with differential concern. Methodology: A survey of 130 Hispanic parents from a predominantly Hispanic community in San Antonio, TX was conducted to assess parents' perceptions regarding childhood obesity prevention, including parental concern about their child's weight status and if they would be concerned if their doctor or a family member told them that their child was overweight. Results: Preliminary results show that 39.9% of Hispanic parents believed an overweight child is more like to get sick than a normal weight child. Most parents believed an overweight child was more likely to experience heart problems (68.5%), get diabetes (73%), get asthma (53.9%), and be teased (64.6%). Almost 25% of parents believed most overweight children “grow out” of it. More fathers (89.2%) than mothers (69.2%) reported that they would be concerned if a doctor told them their child was overweight but fewer fathers than mothers (31.6% versus 38.5%) reported that they would be concerned if a family member told them their child was overweight. Discussion: Hispanic parents' views regarding childhood obesity are complex and messages should be tailored to the culture and parental role differently.

Learning Areas:

Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs

Learning Objectives:
Discuss factors that impact parental concern of childhood obesity among Hispanics List at least two strategies to impact parent motivation to engage in childhood obesity prevention

Keyword(s): Latino Health, Child Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been the co-principal investigator on several federally funded grants that have examined obesity and diabetes risks among Mexican Americans.
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.