Obesity in Hispanic Children: The Effect of Parent's Nutritional Knowledge Open Access

Patel, Trisha Mukesh (2013)

Permanent URL: https://etd.library.emory.edu/concern/etds/sx61dm45j?locale=en
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Abstract

Over the past several decades, the childhood obesity and overweight epidemic has emerged as an area of concern for physicians and researchers. This epidemic disproportionately affects Hispanic children, making it essential to understanding the various causes of overweight and obesity in this population in order to develop appropriate intervention. The primary purpose of my thesis was to test the hypothesis that, within Atlanta's Hispanic population, parent's lack of knowledge of healthy eating is related to his or her child being overweight or obese. My project also attempted to ethnographically characterize the study population, to characterize nutritional knowledge of parents, and to better understand patterns of child feeding in the study population. Thirty semi-structured interviews with parents (15 parents of overweight or obese children and 15 parents of normal weight children) were conducted at the Lindbergh Women and Children's Center and the International Medical Center to assess nutritional knowledge and child-feeding habits of the study population. By connecting parents' level of nutritional knowledge with their child's Body Mass Index (BMI), the relationship between parents' nutritional knowledge and child's weight was evaluated. Results showed no evident association between nutritional knowledge and weight classification of children (normal weight, overweight, or obese). Thus, other factors are important to consider in order to fully understand the causes of overweight and obesity in the study population. Based on the findings, these factors include percent of monthly income spent on food, fruit and vegetable consumption, portion size of breakfast and dinner, food insecurity, and child control over diet.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION 1

Background………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..2

Research Goals and Objectives…………………………………………………………………………………………………..5

CHAPTER 2: LITERATURE REVIEW 7

Prevalence of the Obesity Epidemic………………………………………………………………………………………..…8

Summary of Causes of Childhood Obesity………………………………………………………………………………..11

Parental Knowledge of Nutrition and Childhood Obesity………………………………………………………...16

The Causes of Obesity in the Hispanic Population…………………………………………………………….……..20

Summary………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….23

Hypothesis………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….……24

CHAPTER 3: RESEARCH SITES 26

Rationale for Project………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..27

Description of Research Sites…………………………………………………………………………………………………..28

CHAPTER 4: METHODOLOGY 31

Timeline of Project…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..32

Study Design…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….32

Study Population……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..34

Data Collection…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………34

Data Analysis……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………35

CHAPTER 5: RESULTS 37

Interviewee Profile…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..38

Quantitative Results…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………39

Qualitative Results……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………51

CHAPTER 6: DISCUSSION AND LIMITATIONS 65

Overview………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….66

Knowledge of Nutrition and Weight Classification……………………………………………………………………66

Percentage of Monthly Income Spent on Food………………………………………………………………………..67

Fruit and Vegetable Consumption……………………………………………………………………………………………69

Portion Size of Breakfast and Dinner………………………………………………………………………………………..70

Food Insecurity………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..73

Child Control Over Diet…………………………………………………………………………………………………………….74

Child-Feeding Environment………………………………………………………………………………………………………78

Limitations…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….…79

CHAPTER 7: CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS 82

Conclusion……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….83

Future Studies……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….…83

Recommendations…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..84

BIBLIOGRAPHY 86

APPENDIX 95

Appendix 1……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….96

Appendix 2……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….97

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