Overweight and Obesity Among Hispanic Children Entering Foster Care: A Preliminary Examination of Polyvictimization

Child Maltreatment (Impact Factor: 2.77). 10/2013; 18(4). DOI: 10.1177/1077559513508236
Source: PubMed


This retrospective medical chart review examined the prevalence of overweight/obesity (≥85th percentile) and obesity (≥95th percentile) in Hispanic foster children aged 2-18 years in Los Angeles, California. Logistic regression was used for boys and girls separately to analyze polyvictimization (i.e., one vs. two or more types of maltreatment), type of maltreatment (abuse vs. neglect), and age-group as risk factors for overweight and obesity. Almost 40% of participants were overweight/obese, with the highest prevalence (47.7%) observed among children aged 12-18. Children aged 6-18 were at an increased risk of overweight/obesity and obesity compared with children aged 2-5. Although polyvictimization has been shown to have adverse health effects, in this study, it was related to slightly lower odds of obesity for boys but was unrelated to high weight for girls. Addressing the obesity epidemic among Hispanic foster children is vital to preventing continued obesity and the development of obesity-related health problems, especially by focusing on important community and family influences.

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