Poster Topical Area: Community and Public Health Nutrition

Location: Auditorium

Poster Board Number: 112

P06-091 - Exploring Patterns of Recent Immigrant Children’s Obesity-Related Behaviors

Monday, Jun 11
8:00 AM – 3:00 PM

Objectives To address disparities in rates of obesity, we aimed to (1) determine patterns of obesity-related behaviors among recent immigrant children; and (2) explore relations among the patterns, BMI, maternal health, and acculturation.

Methods Our study used baseline data (n=287) from a randomized control trial of recent immigrant families (in the US less than 5 years). Mothers reported on demographics, acculturation, depression, and their child's diet, physical activity and screen time. BMI z-scores were calculated from maternal and child heights/weights. To determine obesity-related behavior patterns, we conducted Latent Profile Analysis on children's age, dietary behaviors, physical activity, and screen time. Dietary variables included consumption of fruits and vegetables (cups/day), added sugars (tsp/day), and salty snacks (g/day) from the 2007 Block Food screener. Physical activity was assessed by six activities from reliable, valid surveys. Screen time was calculated from maternal reports. To explore group differences on BMI, health, and acculturation, we used the Bolck–Croon–Hagenaars method.

Results Our sample was 38% Brazilian, 31% Haitian, and 30% Latino and 57% male. A four-profile model represented the best fit, with profiles labeled: "high fruit and vegetable," "high physical activity," "high added sugar," and "high salty snacks and screen time." Mothers of "high added sugar" children had lower BMI z-scores and depressive symptoms compared to other groups. Mothers of "high fruit and vegetable" children had lower depressive symptoms compared to mothers of "high physical activity" children.

Conclusions Our study is among the first to explore obesity-related behaviors of young immigrant children and highlights the importance of targeted work. For example, none of the groups of children displayed only healthy behaviors; instead, children engaged in one or two healthy behaviors. In addition, the low maternal BMI among the "high added sugar" group underscores the variation among parent-child diets. Information from person-centered analyses can be used to tailor interventions based on the needs of recent immigrant families with young children.

Funding Source:

Funding for this research was provided by grant 5R01HD057841 from the National Institutes of Health.

Standardized Means of Obesity-Related Behaviors across Four Profiles

Model Fit Statistics for Latent Profile Analysis for a Model with One to Five Profiles

CoAuthors: Erin Hennessy, Ph.D. – Tufts University ; Alison Tovar, Ph.D. – The University of Rhode Island ; Eleanor Shonkoff, Ph.D. – Tufts University; Christina Economos, Ph.D. – Tufts University

Meera Menon

Doctoral Student
Tufts University
Cambridge, Massachusetts