Factors associated with obesity in Chinese-American children

University of California, San Francisco Department of Family Health Care Nursing, San Francisco, CA, USA.
Pediatric nursing 01/2005; 31(2):110-5.
Source: PubMed


A cross-sectional study design was utilized to examine factors associated with obesity in Chinese-American children.
Chinese-American children (8 to 10 years old) and their mothers (N = 68) in California participated in the study.
Mothers completed demographic information, the Family Assessment Device, Attitudes Toward Child Rearing Scale, and Suinn-Lew Asian Self-identity Acculturation Scale. Children's body mass index was measured, and children completed a self-administered physical activity checklist, Food Frequency Questionnaire, and the Schoolagers' Coping Strategies Inventory.
Results indicated three variables that predicted children's body mass index: older age, a more democratic parenting style, and poor communication (R2=.263, F=8.727, p = .0001). Children whose mothers had a low level of acculturation were also more likely to be overweight than were children whose mothers were highly acculturated.
This study revealed that children's ages, a democratic parenting style, and poor family communication contribute to increased body mass index in Chinese-American children. Other factors related to children's BMI and dietary intake include acculturation level of the mother and family affective responses. Future studies should examine the change in BMI over time and in different age groups and why parenting and family communication impact children's body weight.

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    • "Other studies have identified the permissive-indulgent feeding style as significantly related to higher child BMI z-scores (Hughes, Shewchuk, Baskin, Nicklas, & Qu, 2008; Hughes et al., 2005; Tovar et al., 2012). In research on general parenting styles, four studies have identified a significant relation between maternal parenting style and child weight status (Chen & Kennedy, 2005; Humenikova & Gates, 2008; Olvera & Power, 2010; Rhee, Lumeng, Appugliese, Kaciroti, & Bradley, 2006), whereas five have not (Agras, Hammer, McNicholas, & Kraemer , 2004; Blissett & Haycraft, 2008; Brann & Skinner, 2005; Gable & Lutz, 2000; Taylor, Wilson, Slater, & Mohr, 2011). One investigation (Wake, Nicholson, Hardy, & Smith, 2007) found significant relations between parenting style and weight status for fathers but not for mothers; another found a relation between parenting style and weight status for children of depressed mothers (Topham et al., 2010). "
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    • "However, innate self-regulation of caloric intake can be easily overridden by environmental factors, including well-meaning, yet misguided parent feeding practices. Although a complex relationship has been proposed, correlational evidence is increasingly being documented linking parent feeding practices to infant or childhood weight status [104, 105, 176–178], even when considering several confounding variables [95]. However, as described below, depending on the particular feeding practice, and age of the child, the directionality of the relationship varies. "
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    • "The relationship between these factors and children’s weight status are inconsistent. For example, Agras and Mascola [11] indicate that food intake and sweet beverage consumption are important risk factors for childhood obesity whereas Chen and Kennedy [12] found not association between food intake and risk for childhood obesity. In addition, few studies have explored how these factors contribute to obesity in Chinese American children. "
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