Weight Status Among Minnesota Hispanic or Latino/a Youth: An Exploration of Protective Factors

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PURPOSE: Pediatric obesity disproportionately impacts Hispanic or Latino/a adolescents. Culturally appropriate family-based behavioral initiatives to improve weight status are warranted. The purpose of this research was to determine prevalence rates and identify protective factors associated with having overweight/obesity (body mass index ≥ 85 th percentile) to inform Hispanic or Latino/a-targeted behavioral intervention development.

DESIGN: Secondary data analyses of a population-based statewide survey.

SETTING: Minnesota public high schools.

PARTICIPANTS: Male (n = 2,644) and female (n = 2,798) Hispanic or Latino/a 9 th and 11 th graders (N = 5,442).

MEASURES: Obesity-related behaviors (meeting fruit and vegetable [F&V] and physical activity [PA] recommendations), family caring, family country/region of origin, and weight status.

ANALYSIS: Stepwise logistic regression models (F&V, PA), stratified by biological sex, were used to identify protective factors of overweight/obesity.

RESULTS: The overall prevalence of meeting F&V and PA recommendations was 11.0% and 11.8%, respectively. Meeting F&V recommendations was not protective against overweight/obesity in either sex. Yet, males and females who met PA recommendations had significantly lower odds of having overweight/obesity ( p < .05). In F&V and PA models, family caring was protective against overweight/obesity in females ( p < .05), and family country/region of origin was protective against overweight/obesity in both sexes ( p < .05).

CONCLUSION: Findings illustrate a need for obesity prevention initiatives for Hispanic or Latino/a youth. More research is needed to understand the protective nature of family caring and country/region of origin.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)177-188
Number of pages12
JournalAmerican Journal of Health Promotion
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2022.


  • adolescents
  • community
  • health policy
  • racial minority groups
  • social support
  • weight control

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article


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