Primary Outcome Measures:
- Parental and extended family members' dietary-related behaviors and the effect they have on children's dietary intake and weight gain [ Time Frame: Measured during study visits at participants' homes ]
The number of children in the United States who are overweight or obese has increased steadily over the past several decades. Latino children are at particular risk of becoming overweight or obese. Children who are overweight or obese have an increased risk of high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart disease, and diabetes. Parental behaviors are thought to be important influences on children's obesity, but previous studies have only examined a narrow range of parental behaviors, and few studies have specifically focused on Latino children. There is an urgent need for further research that examines the ways in which parental eating habits and behaviors affect the rising obesity rates among Latino children. This study will focus on Mexican Americans, which is the largest Latino group in the United States. The purpose of this study is to examine whether parental and extended family members' dietary-related behaviors predict children's dietary intake and weight gain. The effects of socioeconomic status and cultural factors on parental behaviors will also be examined.
This study will enroll Mexican-American children and their parents. All study visits will occur at the participant's home. At a baseline visit, study staff will conduct a 1-hour interview with children and their parents to collect information on their thoughts about food, family eating habits, and how family members talk about food; children will also be asked about their physical development and physical activity level. Both parents and children will have their height, weight, waist, and hip circumference measured. Children will then wear an activity monitor for 3 days in the week following the baseline visit to measure physical activity levels. Two additional study visits will occur over the following 3 weeks. At the second visit, study staff will conduct 20-minute interviews with parents and children about their eating habits. At the third visit, study staff will videotape the child's evening meal, and additional interviews will occur. Follow-up visits will occur at Years 1 and 2. At both follow-up visits, repeat baseline interviews will occur, and children will wear the activity monitor for 3 days.