Research Article| Volume 50, ISSUE 10, P959-967, November 2018

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Factors Affecting Nutrition and Physical Activity Behaviors of Hispanic Families With Young Children: Implications for Obesity Policies and Programs

  • Jamie Stang
    Address for correspondence: Jamie Stang, PhD, MPH, RD, Division of Epidemiology and Community Health, School of Public Health, University of Minnesota, 1300 South 2nd St, Ste 300, Minneapolis, MN 55454; Phone: (612) 626-0351; Fax: (612) 626-9328;
    Division of Epidemiology and Community Health, School of Public Health, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN
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  • Zobeida Bonilla
    Division of Epidemiology and Community Health, School of Public Health, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN
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Published:September 29, 2017DOI:



      To determine preferred policies and programs to prevent obesity and diabetes as identified by parents and caregivers of 3- to 5-year-old Latino children.


      Constructs from the Social Ecological Model were used to develop 10 focus group and key informant interview questions.


      Community venues and schools in St Paul, MN.


      A total of 64 parents and caregivers and 20 key informants provided comments.


      Community-based participatory research methods were used to gather opinions regarding appropriate and preferred methods to prevent obesity and diabetes among Latino youth. Native Spanish-speaking investigators who were members of the community conducted 7 focus groups (60–90 minutes each) and 20 key informant interviews.

      Main Outcome Measures

      Themes and subthemes of preferences based on participant comments.


      Transcript-based, long-table qualitative analysis.


      Five themes were identified: (1) cultural beliefs and practices are inconsistent with obesity prevention; (2) cost and convenience; (3) positive parenting practices; (4) we want to learn more about being healthy; and (5) gardens, parks, gyms, and school meals. At least 1 theme fell within each of the Social Ecological Model domains.

      Conclusions and Implications

      Our results suggest that parents of young Hispanic children prefer that obesity and diabetes prevention programs address multiple levels of influence.

      Key Words

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