Online Program

Influence of acculturation on body composition in overweight and obese Latino youth

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Nikita Viswasam, Trinity University, San Antonio, TX
Marc Weigensberg, PhD, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA
Michael Goran, PhD, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA
Claudia Toledo-Corral, PhD, Public Health, California State University, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA

Background: The influence of acculturation on obesity risk is complex, and the relationship between acculturation and obesity-related measures of body composition other than body mass index (BMI) in Latino youth is unclear. This study aimed to evaluate the interrelationships between acculturation, social position, and body composition of Latino children and adolescents (n=206), ages 9 - 13, characterized as overweight or obese (BMI > 85th percentile) in the Los Angeles area. 
Methods: Acculturation variables were taken at baseline and included language spoken at home, child generational status, and sociocultural orientation assessed through the Acculturation, Habits, and Interests Multicultural Scale for Adolescents (AHIMSA). Household social position was calculated using the Hollingshead Two Factor Index of Social Position. Measures of body composition at baseline and one-year post-baseline included BMI percentile, total body fat percentage, total body fat mass and lean mass.  Results: Using multiple linear regression of baseline data, lean mass was negatively associated with the sociocultural orientation positions of integration (β = -0.05 ± 0.06, p =0.035) and separation (β = -0.80 ± 0.38, p =0.035), and the change between baseline and post-baseline total fat mass was negatively associated with integration (β = -0.23 ± 0.10, p = 0.026), all independent of social position. Conclusion: At baseline, more acculturated Latino youth exhibited increased lean mass, and youth reporting higher integration of US and home country cultures exhibited a smaller one-year change in total fat mass. Our results suggest differential effects of sociocultural orientation on body composition over time in Latino youth.

Learning Areas:

Chronic disease management and prevention
Diversity and culture
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Name measures of body composition associated with obesity Describe factors of acculturation that influence Latino childhood obesity in the United States

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a fourth year undergraduate student of global public health and have engaged in public health research on the subject of acculturation and obesity in Latino youth over the past eight months, in addition to studying issues of immigrant health in the United States as part of my academic background.
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.