Using Biomarkers for the Validation of Niños Sanos, an Obesity Risk Assessment Tool: Preliminary Results

      Objective: Obesity disproportionately affects 2- to 5-year-old children from low-income families and among them Latino children have the highest rates. Our goal is to validate a final version of Niños Sanos (NS), a pediatric obesity risk assessment tool designed for use with low-literacy Spanish speaking parents.
      Description: This is a cross-sectional study. Parent-child pairs (n = 167) were recruited from Head Start (n = 19) and WIC (n = 3) sites in Yolo and Sacramento counties in CA. Over a 6-week period, parents completed the 45 item NS tool and provided 24-hour dietary, sleep, and activity logs; anthropometrics and blood samples were collected from children. We analyzed (SAS, Version 9.4) a subset of the outcomes listed above.
      Evaluation: The parents in our study were 33 year females (>98%), Hispanics (>99%), born in Mexico (>83%), and spoke Spanish primarily (>95%). A majority completed grade school (72%), most were unemployed (69%) and lived in a household composed of 2 adults (78%) and 2 or 3 children (63%). Thirty percent of the children were overweight and 53% were obese. A higher NS parental score (healthier behaviors) of the 19 item BMI subscale was associated with smaller child waist circumference (P = .056). A higher parental score on the 3-item NS sweet sugar beverages subscale was associated with a healthier child lipid index (cholesterol, LDLC, Non-HDLC, cholesterol:HDLC, P = .09), and a lower triglycerides to glucose ratio, an index of insulin resistance (P = .056).
      Conclusions and Implications: An obesity risk assessment tool for Spanish speaking families is being validated using biomarkers. The strong association between higher parental NS scores and children with healthier profiles may reach statistical significance with a larger sample size. Niños Sanos promises to be a useful assessment tool to identify the lifestyle determinants specific to Spanish speaking families associated with increased risk of pediatric obesity.
      Funding: 2015-68001-23280.

      Supplementary Data

      The following is the supplementary data to this article: