Rapid Weight Gain among Infants of Low Income Hispanic Immigrant Mothers In the US, the number of children who are overweight or obese has tripled since the 1980's. Children from low income Hispanic families have disproportionately high rates of obesity. Recent research provides evidence that rapid weight gain in the first year of life is associated with sharply increased risk of obesity at 3 years of age. Further, early childhood obesity persists through later development with untoward health consequences over a lifetime, including diabetes and cardiovascular disease. The Institute of Medicine (IOM) report, Early Childhood Obesity Prevention Policies, refutes the long held notion that infants outgrow "baby fat" and has made recommendations for the prevention of rapid infant weight gain that leads to later obesity. However, childhood obesity research to date has focused predominantly on school age children with almost no attention to risk factors that begin in infancy. The proposed project addresses this gap by focusing on a sector of the US population at high risk for obesogenic morbidities, namely, infants of low income Hispanic immigrant mothers. Today, more than one-fourth of the nation's population under 1 year of age is Hispanic and most mothers of these children were born outside the US. Guided by the Life Course Health Development model and the IOM's early infancy obesity prevention recommendations, the proposed study will examine the influence of early infant feeding practices, physical activity opportunity, and sleep duration on rapid weight gain. Perception of a healthy child weight and food security will be tested for their influence on early feeding practices and subsequent infant weight gain. Using a prospective infancy cohort design, data will be gathered through interviews with 300 Hispanic mothers and medical chart review. Our overall purpose is to examine the IOM obesity-prevention recommendations for early infant feeding practices, physical activity opportunity, and sleep duration in relation to risk for rapid weight gain among infants of low income Hispanic immigrant mothers.
Specific Aim 1 will explore the influences of infant feedng practices, perception of healthy child weight and food security in the first 6 months of life on rapid weight gain by 12 months of age.
Specific Aim 2 will explore the added contribution of physical activity opportunity and sleep duration during the first 6 months to rapid weight gain by 12 months of age, after controlling for early feeding practices, perception of healthy child weight and food security. The study will be conducted in a large pediatric primary care setting that serves low income Hispanic immigrant families in Virginia. Results will inform the prevention of rapid infant weight gain with evidence that can be translated into clinical practice.
Specific Aim will implement a mentorship program, Mason's Maternal-Child Health Equity Scholars, to expose undergraduate nursing students from disadvantaged backgrounds and/or racial and ethnic groups underrepresented in biobehavioral research to maternal-child health equity research. Student learning and satisfaction will be assessed with measures from the university's Students as Scholars program and adapted for this BRITE initiative.

Public Health Relevance

Rapid Weight Gain among Infants of Low Income Hispanic Immigrant Mothers Two national goals identified by Healthy People 2020 are the elimination of health disparities based on race/ethnicity or socioeconomic status and a substantial reduction in the proportion of US children with a BMI e 95th percentile. To address these goals, the proposed project will test modifiable risk factors for rapid infant weight gain in a sector of the S population at high risk for both childhood obesity and type 2 diabetes, namely, the infants of low income Hispanic immigrant mothers. It is anticipated that findings will yield information needed for public health interventions designed to reduce the disproportionate health and economic burden that childhood obesity places on the target population.

Agency
National Institute of Health (NIH)
Type
Academic Research Enhancement Awards (AREA) (R15)
Project #
1R15HD080710-01
Application #
8751144
Study Section
Health Disparities and Equity Promotion Study Section (HDEP)
Program Officer
White, Della
Project Start
Project End
Budget Start
Budget End
Support Year
1
Fiscal Year
2014
Total Cost
Indirect Cost
Name
George Mason University
Department
Other Health Professions
Type
Schools of Nursing
DUNS #
City
Fairfax
State
VA
Country
United States
Zip Code
22030