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Cancer Control Research

Lindsay, Ana C.


DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): Increasing prevalence of childhood overweight is a major public health concern, evident in all age groups and social classes. Children from low-income, under-served minority families are at greatest risk. Rapid secular increases in overweight are of concern due to negative health and psychosocial effects during and beyond childhood, as about half of overweight children become obese adults. Health consequences of overweight and obesity include type-2 diabetes, adverse serum lipid and lipoprotein levels, hypertension, and some cancers, including those affecting the reproductive system. Altering trends in chronic disease will require substantive efforts to reduce incidence of childhood overweight, at very early ages. Strategies ultimately successful in addressing childhood overweight in under-served minorities also will require attention to cultural norms that may vary by race/ethnicity. This qualitative study will systematically examine Latina mothers' perceptions of maternal and infant weight status, child-feeding practices, and how these are related to dietary intake and the development of overweight in children. Furthermore, it will assess sociodemographic, social cultural and feeding environment influences on these relationships. An on-going, community-based intervention trial among low-income, multiethnic, postpartum women provides the base to recruit Latina mothers of young children and permits close collaboration with the public health partners in the translation and dissemination of the research results. The design of proposed research consists of qualitative research in 3 sequential phases including: 1) focus groups 2) in-depth interviews and 3) development and pre-testing a child-feeding questionnaire through cognitive interviewing techniques. This research will inform the design of a subsequent large-scale study of social-contextual determinants of childhood overweight in Latino populations and will have important long-term applications in developing nutrition education strategies for child health promotion that adequately account for the socio-cultural context of minority caregivers.

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