Obesity in Mexican-American Preschool Children-A Population Group at Risk Academic Article uri icon


  • This research built on our previous work focusing on the Mexican-American population as one group at risk for the development of obesity. The purpose of this study was to explore the relationship among knowledge of nutrition, feeding practices, values, and select demographic variables of Mexican-American mothers and obesity in their preschool children. One hundred forty-three mothers of children were recruited to participate. Each mother was interviewed and asked to complete questionnaires regarding maternal nutrition knowledge, maternal feeding practices, weight locus of control, and ideal infant body habitus. Compared to thin infants and their mothers, obese children had a significantly greater mean birth weight and their mothers had a significantly greater body mass index. Analysis of responses to the ideal infant body habitus scale revealed that mothers of obese children selected a chubby baby as ideal significantly more often than mothers of nonobese children. The data collected from this study can alert public health nurses to children at risk for obesity.

publication date

  • March 1991