Family Eating and Activity Habits among Blacks, Hispanics, and Filipinos: Implications for Overweight and Obesity Prevention

Friday, 16 July 2010: 9:10 AM

Luz S. Porter, PhD, MSN, BSN, ARNP, FAAN, FAANP1
Marjorie Guillespie-Johnson, PhD, ARNP1
Carmen Gali, BSN2
Angelica Mercado, BSN3
Margarita Ticona, BSN, RN4
Sheree Mundy, MSN5
1College of Nursing and Health Sciences, Florida International University, Miami, FL
2Critical Care Unit, Miramar Memorial Hospital, Pembroke Pines, FL
3Department of Children Services, Miami-Dade County Health Department, Miami, FL
4Adult Critical Care Unit, Hialeah Hospital, Hialeah, FL
5Pediatrics, Memorial Regional Hospital, Hollywood, FL

Learning Objective 1: The learner will be able to compare the prevalence of overweight and obesity among Black, Hispanic, and Filipino families residing in southeast Florida.

Learning Objective 2: The learner will be able to analyze the role of family eating and activity habits in the prevention and control of overweight and obesity.

Purpose: This descriptive study sought to determine the relationship between family eating and activity habits and children’s weights; the relationship between mothers/children’s weight and self-esteem; and whether  the weight factor affects mothers/children’s blood pressure. Overweight and obesity among children and adults is well-documented as an escalating problem. Concern about this rise centers on the link between obesity and increased health risks that translate into increased medical care and costs. Findings of earlier studies point to the interplay between/among personal attributes, psychosocial, and environmental factors in development of overweight and obesity in childhood and adolescence.
Methods: The study was conducted on a sample of 90 mother-child dyads, comprised of 42% Black, 36% Hispanic, and 22% Filipinos aged 7 to 55 years.  The data, collected via self-administered questionnaires and guided interview (Family Eating and Activity Habits Questionnaire, Rosenberg’s Self-Esteem Scale, Background Information Questionnaire), were analyzed via descriptive and inferential statistics (t-tests, ANOVA, linear regression). Findings significant at p <.05 are interpreted as statistically significant; findings falling between p=.05 and p=.10 are interpreted as showing trends. 
Results: Findings revealed differences in eating and activity practices between Filipinos and Blacks or Hispanics. Blacks and Hispanics did not differ in incidence of overweight; those who were found to be overweight, as measured by Body Mass Index, were associated with elevated blood pressure. Self-esteem (SE) correlated inversely with weight; however, the SE factor did not differ by ethnicity. Mothers/children’s weight inversely correlated with activity level. Overweight mothers tend to have overweight children.

The development of overweight/obesity in childhood reflects the interplay between/among personal, psychosocial, and environmental factors. Study findings may raise public awareness of the myriad health risks associated with overweight/obesity, and provide a database for nurse practitioners and other health service providers for the development of culturally sensitive focused public health education programs.