Comparison of Family Eating Habits and Activity Practices Among Blacks, Hispanics, and Filipinos: Implications for Prevention and Control of Overweight and Obesity

Sunday, 27 July 2014: 3:15 PM

College of Nursing and Health Sciences, Florida International University, Miami, FL

Purpose: The purpose of this study is to compare and analyze the eating habits and physical activity practices among Filipino, Black, and Hispanic families. 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. Preventing childhood obesity is a national priority. Findings of earlier studies point to the interplay between/among personal attributes and environmental factors in development of overweight and obesity in childhood and adolescence.

Methods: This descriptive study was conducted on a sample of 78 mother-child dyads, comprised of 22% Black, 50% Hispanic, and 16% Filipinos, aged 7- 17 years (children) and 24-55 years (mothers).  The data, collected via self-administered questionnaires and guided interview (Family Eating and Activity Habits Questionnaire and 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 Blacks and Hispanics or Filipinos. There was an inverse correlation between the mothers’ or children’s weight and activity level. Overweight mothers tend to have overweight children.  Mother-child dyads were similar in eating pace.  The 3 ethnic groups spend most of their physical activity time in TV viewing and computer usage.

 Conclusion:   Research findings may raise public awareness of the increasing prevalence and consequences of overweight and obesity in mothers and children, particularly among Hispanics and Blacks. Study findings provide a database for nurse practitioners and other health service providers for the development of culturally sensitive, focused public health education programs.