Maternal Perspectives and the Affect on Childhood Obesity in the Mexican American Population: An Article Review

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Maternal Perspectives and the Affect on Childhood Obesity in the Mexican American

Through research conducted in the San Antonio, Texas area, Martina Raquel Gallagher studies and presents how maternal perspectives on lifestyle habits put children of Mexican descent at risk for obesity. Obesity is a national problem that often begins in childhood and carries over into adulthood (Must et al., 1999). This is true even more so for children of Mexican descent. In 2004, of children ages 2-6, 32.6% of children of Mexican descent were overweight and 19.2% were considered obese (Ogden et al., 2005). Through a qualitative, naturalistic design, Martina Raquel Gallagher, uses ethnographic interviews of 9 mothers of Mexican descent to make a connection between the views that these mothers have about lifestyle habits that put their children at risk for obesity. All of the mothers shared similar backgrounds, with all of them being low income, speaking mostly Spanish, and all being born in Mexico.

Other background information about the mothers varied. For example, the amount of time living in the United States, ability to speak English, educational attainment, and marital status was different for all 9 participants of the study.

When asked about health promotion amongst their children, all of the mothers in the study answered that good food intake and nutrition was a way that they ensured good health of their preschool children. When expanded upon, the answers that the mothers gave to this question was not far of from the American Academy of Pediatrics recommendations on preventing and managing obesity in children. One limitation of this particular finding was that since all of the women in the study had children that were enrolled in Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) Nutritional Assistance Program, it is likely that nutrition classes given through the program...