Developmental Trajectories of Overweight during Childhood: A Focus on Parental Nativity

Kelly Balistreri, Bowling Green State University

In this paper we identify the age-related trajectories of overweight and at risk for overweight from early childhood into the beginning stages of adolescence using the ECLS-K, and test the association between these trajectories and family characteristics among the young children of immigrants and the children of natives. The growing levels of obesity among many children from immigrant families are often attributed to acculturation, a process which involves exposure to US culture and food environments. We draw upon assimilation theory to develop research expectations regarding the relationship between parental nativity and/or age at arrival and children’s weight status and weight trajectories. We hypothesize that 1) in some cases weight status trajectories among children of immigrant parents will feature both lower levels and later onset of overweight than among the children of natives; 2) overweight trajectories among children with immigrant parents will vary by parental duration in the US.

  See extended abstract

Presented in Poster Session 1