The U.S. Latino population is growing rapidly, and Latino preschool children have the highest rates of obesity compared with their other racial/ethnic counterparts. Physical activity is associated with improved health outcomes in young children, and Latino preschool children’s physical activity is strongly correlated with parental physical activity levels. Physical activity interventions, especially those with a parent component, are particularly well suited for Latino preschool children and may help address this disparity. The author reviewed seven intervention studies and three protocol studies that targeted Latino preschool children and included a parent intervention component and physical activity as outcome variables. An interpretation of the findings of these studies, as well as critical questions for research and policy, are discussed.
Sharon E. Taverno Ross
Sharon E. Taverno Ross, Nicole Larson, Dan J. Graham and Dianne Neumark-Sztainer
This study compared moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) and sedentary behavior in U.S.–born and foreign-born adolescents and young adults, and differences in behavior change from adolescence to young adulthood by nativity.
Data on 2039 U.S.–born and 225 foreign-born participants from Project EAT-III (Eating and Activity in Teens and Young Adults) were used to examine MVPA, television/DVD/video viewing, and computer use. Participants completed surveys at baseline in Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN secondary school classrooms in 1998–1999 (14.9 ± 1.6 y) and follow-up measures online or by mail in 2008–2009 (25.3 ± 1.6 y).
At both time points, foreign-born participants reported significantly lower levels of MVPA than their U.S.–born counterparts (P < .05). Foreign-born females at baseline and follow-up and foreign-born males at follow-up reported less television/DVD/video viewing compared with U.S.–born participants (P < .01). All participants experienced a significant decline in MVPA from baseline to follow-up (P < .001). Between-group analyses revealed a significantly greater decline in television/DVDs/video viewing for the foreign-born males compared with U.S.–born males from baseline to follow-up (mean change: foreign-born: –4.8 ± 1.32 hrs/wk, U.S.–born: –0.6 ± 0.6 hrs/wk; P < .01).
Differences in activity patterns between foreign-born and U.S.–born youth into young adulthood may contribute to disparities in chronic disease risk. Nativity, along with the social, environmental, and cultural context, should be considered when designing programs to promote MVPA and prevent obesity.
Sharon E. Taverno Ross, Lori A. Francis, Rhonda Z. BeLue and Edna A. Viruell-Fuentes
This study examines relations between parent and youth physical activity (PA; days per week), sports participation, and overweight (BMI ≥ 85th percentile) among U.S. youth, and whether this relationship varies by immigrant generation and sex.
Participants included 28,691 youth ages 10–17 years from the 2007 National Survey of Children’s Health. Youth were grouped into first, second, and third or higher generation. Primary analyses include Chi-square and post hoc tests to assess mean differences, and adjusted logistic regressions to test associations between weight status and independent variables.
Each additional day youth participated in PA decreased their odds of overweight (OW) by 10% [OR: 0.90 (0.87–0.94)]; participation in sports significantly reduced their odds of OW by 17% [OR: 0.83 (0.71–0.98)]. First generation boys who participated in sports had 70% lower odds of OW [OR: 0.30 (0.11–0.83)] compared with first generation boys who did not participate in sports. For third generation girls, participation in sports reduced the odds of OW by 23% [OR: 0.77 (0.62–0.96)] compared with those who did not participate in sports.
The protective influence of PA on youth’s risk of OW varies by immigrant generation and sex. Parent PA was not related to youth’s risk of OW.