Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health

, Volume 17, Issue 2, pp 375–382

Child Feeding Practices and Overweight Status Among Mexican Immigrant Families

  • Luz Elvia Vera-Becerra
  • Martha L. Lopez
  • Lucia L. Kaiser
Original Paper

DOI: 10.1007/s10903-013-9879-4

Cite this article as:
Vera-Becerra, L.E., Lopez, M.L. & Kaiser, L.L. J Immigrant Minority Health (2015) 17: 375. doi:10.1007/s10903-013-9879-4


The purpose was to compare maternal perceptions, feeding practices, and overweight status of children in immigrant households in California (US) with a cohort in Guanajuato, Mexico (MX). In 2006, staff interviewed mothers and weighed and measured their children, 1–6 years (US: n = 95 and MX: n = 200). Prevalence of overweight [body mass index z-score (BMIZ) >1.0 and <1.65] and obesity (BMIZ > 1.65) was 21.1 and 28.4 % in the US respectively, compared to 11.5 and 12.9 % in MX (p < 0.001). No differences were observed in maternal ability to identify correctly the child’s weight status or ever being told the child was overweight. US children ate away from home more often (p < 0.0001), had fewer family meals (p < 0.0001), and played outdoors less often than MX children (p < 0.0002). Further analyses should examine how differences in eating and activity patterns explain the disparity in childhood obesity across the countries.


ChildrenMexicanImmigrantOverweightFeeding practices

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Luz Elvia Vera-Becerra
    • 1
  • Martha L. Lopez
    • 2
  • Lucia L. Kaiser
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Medicine and NutritionUniversity of GuanajuatoLeónMexico
  2. 2.Lopez ConsultingEmeritus-University of CaliforniaBellinghamUSA
  3. 3.Department of NutritionUniversity of California, DavisDavisUSA