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.
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