Obesity Among First and Second Generation Hispanic Adolescents in the United States: Insights from 2011-2012 National Survey of Children's Health

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Background: More than one-third of adults and 17% of children/adolescents in the US are overweight or obese contributing to significant morbidity and mortality, and healthcare costs. Little is known about obesity patterns in subethnic populations in the US with high prevalence of obesity or overweight reported in Hispanic youth (21.9%) compared to non-Hispanic blacks (19.5%) and non-Hispanic whites (14.7%). The purpose of this study is to assess the association of generation status with adolescent overweight or obesity in Hispanics in the US. Data from the 2011-2012 National Survey of Children’s Health were used to conduct this study, focusing on Hispanic adolescents aged 10 to 17 years. Adolescents were defined as being overweight or obese if they were above 85th or 95th percentile cut-off point values for BMI. Conclusion:Generation status of an adolescent was categorized into three groups depending on the adolescent and the parents’ place of birth. Multivariable models were conducted to test the association of generation status with adolescent obesity in Hispanics, adjusting for potential confounders. Comparing to 3rd generation adolescents, those belonging to 1st and 2nd generations were associated with increased odds of adolescent obesity in Hispanics OR 1.48, 95% CI 1.177 – 1.867 and OR 1.405, 95% CI 1.227-1.610 for 1st and 2nd generation, respectively. Generational status is associated with increased relative odds of overweight or obesity in Hispanic adolescents. Aggregated estimates not accounting for country of origin of an adolescent contribute to significant heterogeneity or disparities in obesity prevalence or patterns, with implications for generation-specific interventions


Atlanta, GA

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