Enhancing Interventions for Pediatric Obesity Among Young Latino Children: A Mixed Methods Study
Sampilo, Marilyn L.
University of Kansas
Clinical Child Psychology
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Recent national data indicate that nearly 1/3 of US youth are overweight (BMI % 85th). Of these children, a disproportionate number are Latino. This racial and ethnic disparity has been observed in young childhood and persists when considering the effectiveness of current childhood obesity interventions. Programs that have demonstrated success with other racial and ethnic groups have not translated into successful outcomes for Latino families. This may be due to inadequate attention to important cultural factors for Latinos. The goal of the present study was to describe the current state of cultural tailoring of pediatric obesity and health promotion interventions for Latinos through a systematic review of the literature (Study 1) and to delineate cultural factors which impact health behavior of Latino families with an overweight or obese child and may influence outcomes associated with involvement in pediatric obesity intervention programs (Study 2). Results from Study 1 indicated that peripheral, linguistic, constituent-involving, and socio-cultural strategies are the most commonly employed cultural tailoring strategies in existing interventions. There is, however, a range in the description of socio-cultural strategies and a lack of detail regarding underlying cultural constructs in existing interventions. Findings from focus groups revealed recurrent themes suggesting that cultural beliefs about children's body size influence parent perception of child overweight and cultural factors also influence health communication and impact parent understanding of their child's weight status. Additionally, cultural values of respeto, familismo, and pesonalismo impact family acceptance and adherence to treatment recommendations.
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