Skip to content

Large-Scale Pediatrics Study Reviews Poverty, Ethnicity and Obesity

Catherine is a senior communications professional helping social change organizations tell their story in powerful ways. She has expertise in public health, environmental stewardship, philanthropy and education. Follow her on Twitter @CatBrozena

A study released in Pediatrics: the Official Journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics suggests that for Hispanic, American Indian and African American children in low-income families, there is increased risk of obesity.

Researchers gathered BMI data from 1.2 million children in the Federal nutrition support programs aged 0-23 months in 2008 and followed up within three years. Looking at trends in children receiving low-income food assistance, the study sought to ask the question posed by an earlier study done in the 1990s which did not add ethnicity to its data set or report.

RESULTS: The incidence of obesity was 11.0% after the follow-up period. The incidence was significantly higher among boys versus girls and higher among children aged 0 to 11 months at baseline versus those older. Compared with non-Hispanic whites, the risk of obesity was 35% higher among Hispanics and 49% higher among American Indians (AIs)/Alaska Natives (ANs), but 8% lower among non-Hispanic African Americans. Among children who were obese at baseline, 36.5% remained obese and 63.5% were nonobese at follow-up. The proportion of reversing of obesity was significantly lower among Hispanics and AIs/ANs than that among other racial/ethnic groups.
Authors concluded that with a disproportionately high risk of obesity in Hispanics and American Indians and the persistent (or lack of reduction) in obesity among Hispanics in particular, there remains a significant source of need for obesity intervention.
Read the full study.
Back To Top