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Unformatted text preview: R ESEARCH A RTICLE Individual, Family, and Community Environmental Correlates of Obesity in Latino Elementary School Children J OHN P. E LDER , PhD, MPH a E LVA M. A RREDONDO , PhD b N ADIA C AMPBELL , MPH c B ARBARA B AQUERO , MPH d S USAN D UERKSEN , MPH e G UADALUPE A YALA , PhD, MPH f N OC C. C RESPO , MPH, MS g D ONALD S LYMEN , PhD h T HOMAS M C K ENZIE , PhD i ABSTRACT BACKGROUND: The prevalence of overweight children has reached epidemic proportions, and affects Latinos youth more than other subgroups in the United States. Given the prevalence of obesity and its economic consequences, community health initiatives have shifted toward primary prevention at younger ages. METHODS: Data representing all levels of the ecological systems theory were collected using diverse methods. Participants were children enrolled in K- 2 nd grade and their parents. RESULTS: Overweight children were less active compared to normal weight children. The parents of overweight children provided less instrumental support to engage in activity and set fewer limits on their childs activities. Similarly, parents of overweight children were less likely to control, but more likely to set limits on their childs diet compared to parents of normal weight children. Parents who rated their health more positively and were less acculturated were more likely to have children who were overweight. School and community level variables were not significantly correlated with childrens weight. Adjusting for the aforementioned variables, parents weight status was positively associated with childrens weight. CONCLUSIONS: Social and structural environments in which Hispanic children are reared may play an important role in determining their risk for obesity and related behaviors. Parents weight was among the strongest correlate of child weight; however, the extent to which this inuence functions primarily through biological or social/structural inuences is not entirely clear. The role of school and community factors on childs health practices and body mass index needs to be further examined. Keywords: nutrition; diet; physical fitness; sport; chronic diseases; community health. Citation: Elder J, Arredondo EM, Campbell N, Baquero B, Duerksen S, Ayala G, Crespo NC, Slymen D, McKenzie T. Individual, family, and community environmental correlates of obesity in Latino elementary school children. J Sch Health. 2010; 80: 2030. Received on November 1, 2009 Accepted on August 24, 2009 a Professor, (email@example.com), Center for Behavioral andCommunityHealthStudies, GraduateSchool of PublicHealth, SanDiego StateUniversity, SanDiego, CA92123. b Assistant Professor, (firstname.lastname@example.org), Center for Behavioral and Community Health Studies, Graduate School of Public Health, San Diego State University, San Diego, CA92123....
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