Gender and ethnic disparities contributing to overweight in California adolescents.
Published Web Locationhttps://doi.org/10.1007/s10389-009-0300-7
PURPOSE: To explore differences in health behaviors and factors contributing to overweight among 12 to 17 year olds in California. METHODS: Data from the 2005 California Health Interview Survey for 3,315 adolescents self-identified as Latino, Asian, or white were reviewed. Adolescents reported their weight, height, gender, ethnicity, parents' educational level, household income, physical activity, sedentary activity, breakfast consumption, and family meals. RESULTS: Overall 34% of boys and 22% of girls in this study were overweight (>85th percentile for age and gender). Approximately 38% of Latinos, 25% of whites, and 16% of Asians were overweight. Latinos were more than twice as likely to be overweight as whites (2.07) and Asians (2.53). Younger adolescents (12-13 years old) and adolescents whose family income is less than 200% of the federal poverty level were more likely to be overweight. Low level of parental education is a risk factor for Latino and Asian girls and white and Latino boys. White girls with a lower socioeconomic status and white boys with more than 2 h daily of television, video, and computer time were more likely to be overweight. CONCLUSION: Results suggest gender and ethnic variations in factors that contribute to overweight in California adolescents. To influence the current overweight epidemic, clinicians must develop culturally sensitive and gender-specific interventions that address the unique needs of an ethnically diverse adolescent population.