Date of Conferral





Public Health


Peter Anderson


Obesity has increased during the past 30 years in the United States. Obese adults and children are at risk for cardiovascular disease, diabetes, hypertension, and comorbidities. Parents and child caregivers play key roles in the decisions of family health. Studies exploring sociodemographic and socioecological factors associated with obesity among U.S. Hispanic parents and child caregivers are lacking. Guided by the socioecological model, this study examined the following factors: gender; acculturation; dietary intake of fat, sugar, fruits, and vegetables; and role as food purchaser/food preparer that influenced obesity. A 3-paper-based survey, consisting of a demographic survey, the Block Fat-Sugar-Fruit-Vegetable Screener and the Bidimensional Acculturation Scale for Hispanics (BAS), was used to collect data. The volunteer sample of 165 Hispanic parents/child caregivers residing in Aurora, Illinois, was recruited using venue-based sampling. Point-biserial correlations, chi-square, and multiple logistic regression were performed to test 10 hypotheses. Acculturation, as measured by the BAS non-Hispanic domain scores, was a significant predictor of obesity. Obesity increased 1.737 times with every 1 unit increase in acculturation BAS non-Hispanic domain scores. Multiple regression results showed that developing obesity was 2.46 times lower in males compared with females in the overall sample. These findings could be used to promote positive social change by influencing the development of culturally congruent obesity prevention, management, and treatment programs produced by educators and health professionals specifically targeting obesity among Hispanic women, which could further increase the overall well-being and longevity of Hispanic families in Aurora, Illinois, and beyond.