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Factors Associated With Obesity in Latino Children: A Review of the Literature

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Various factors influence the high prevalence of obesity among Latino children. The purpose of this article was to review the current literature on the factors associated with overweight and obesity in Latino children, provide nursing implications, and suggest direction for future research. Twenty-four studies were selected. The findings of this review indicated that factors related to activity, diet, genetics, the environment, and acculturation influence overweight and obesity in Latino children. Parental body mass index (BMI) was consistently found to be one of the strongest predictors of pediatric weight. There was conflicting evidence for the association of activity, diet, and environmental factors with obesity. There was also inconclusive evidence for the relationship between acculturation and BMI in Latino children. The strengths of the studies reviewed included analyses by Latino subgroup, large Latino sample sizes, and inclusion of both English and Spanish speakers. Limitations included inadequate sample sizes in some studies and lack of data on potential confounding factors such as acculturation and immigration status. Future research is needed to determine how factors associated with obesity can be used in prevention efforts targeting Latino children.

Spanish
Varios factores influyen la alta prevalencia de obesidad en los niños latinos. El propósito de este artículo fue analizar la literatura relacionada con factores asociados con el sobrepeso y la obesidad en los niños latinos, analizar las implicacias para enfermería, y sugerir direcciones para investigaciónes futuras. Veinticuatro estudios fueron seleccionados para el análisis. Índice de masa corporal (IMC) parental fue encontrada para ser uno de los predictores más fuertes de peso pediátricos. Las hallazgos de este revision indican que factores relacionado a la actividad, dieta, genética, ambiente y aculturación influyen en la obesidad de los niños latinos. Los estudios revisados poseen diversas fortalezas como son el incluir análisis por subgrupos de población latina, utilizar muestras con un número importante de participantes latinos, y la inclusión de participantes que hablaban ingles y español. Las limitaciones incluyeron tamaños inadecuados de la muestra en algunos estudios, y la falta de datos sobre factores que en potencia pueden ser confundentes como son el estatus de inmigración y aculturación. Nuevas investigaciones son necesarias para determinarcomo los factores asociados con la obesidad pueden ser utilizados en la prevención de obesidad con niños latinos.
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Keywords: CHILDREN; HISPANIC AMERICANS; HISPANIC HEALTH; LATINO; OBESITY; OVERWEIGHT

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: September 1, 2011

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