Why Do Mexican American Children Outgrow the Epidemiologic Paradox?

Erin R. Hamilton, University of California, Davis
Nancy E. Reichman, University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey

Mexican Americans have a weight distribution that categorizes them as healthy at birth but unhealthy only a few years later, leading scholars to question whether these children outgrow the epidemiologic paradox of good health despite low socioeconomic status. We address this question by considering whether factors established at birth contribute to Mexican Americans’ greater risk of overweight in early childhood relative to children in other racial and ethnic groups. First, we analyze the relationship between birthweight and later weight to see whether Mexican American child weight is actually an artifact of their favorable birthweight distribution. Second, we analyze prenatal maternal characteristics to determine their association with child overweight independent of birthweight.

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Presented in Poster Session 6