Factors associated with overweight among urban American Indian adolescents: Findings from project EAT

Amy J. Delong, Nicole I. Larson, Mary Story, Dianne Neumark-Sztainer, Anne M. Weber-Main, Marjorie Ireland

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Objectives: To determine the prevalence of overweight in a sample of urban American Indian adolescents and identify associated behavioral, personal, and socioenvironmental factors. Design and Participants: Participants were 246 American Indian boys and girls from the Saint Paul-Minneapolis metropolitan area of Minnesota who completed classroom surveys and anthropometric measurements as part of Project EAT (Eating Among Teens), a population-based study of adolescent nutrition and weight. Measures: Survey items assessed behavioral factors (physical activity, television/video viewing, snacking and meal patterns, weight control behaviors), personal factors (body satisfaction, nutrition knowledge, nutrition/fitness attitudes, self-efficacy to make healthy food choices, perceived benefits/barriers to healthy eating), and socioenvironmental factors (family meal routines, family connectedness, parental attitudes regarding nutrition/fitness, availability of household foods, peer attitudes about weight and fitness). Results: Overweight prevalence (body mass index ≥85th percentile) was 43% and 39% for American Indian boys and girls. Compared to nonoverweight American Indian youth, overweight American Indian youth reported watching more hours of television/videos, greater use of weight control behaviors, less frequent snacking, caring less about fitness, lower body satisfaction, and greater parental concern about weight. Conclusion: Obesity prevention programs targeting American Indian adolescents should focus on reducing time spent watching television/videos, screening for unhealthy weight-control behaviors, improving body satisfaction, and providing support for families to integrate healthy eating into their busy lifestyles.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)317-323
Number of pages7
JournalEthnicity and Disease
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 1 2008


  • Adolescent
  • American indian
  • Body mass index (BMI)
  • Overweight

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