Journal of Social, Behavioral, and Health Sciences




Children living with obesity are at higher risk for chronic disease. Dietary behaviors, sedentary time, and physical activity contribute to the risk of developing obesity. The purpose of this research was to identify associations between acculturation and race/ethnicity influences on obesogenic behaviors in middle school students. A national convenience sample of diverse U.S. children (11–14) was recruited to participate in an online survey (N = 615). Dietary behaviors, including fruit and vegetable consumption (F/V) and sugar-sweetened beverage consumption (SSB), as well as screen time and physical activity, were quantified. Multivariable regression models (linear and logistic) were built. We analyzed relationships between race/ethnicity, acculturation, time lived outside of the United States, and obesogenic behaviors. American Culture Competency (ACC; p < 0.0001), English Language Competency (ELC; p = 0.0001), time lived in the United States (p < 0.0001), generation American (p < 0.0001), race/ethnicity (p < 0.0001), and peer physical (p= 0.0024) activity together predicted daily screen time. ELC (p = 0.0024), peer meals (p p p = 0.0183), ELC (p = 0 .0438), race/ethnicity (p = 0.0152), and time lived in the United States (p = 0.0063) predicted meeting physical activity recommendations. ACC (p = 0.0002), ELC (p < 0.0001), race/ethnicity (p = 0.0052), time lived in the United States (p = 0.0061), peer meals (pp = 0.0053) predicted F/V consumption. Results demonstrate that acculturation and race/ethnicity affect obesogenic behaviors. These results indicate that there are opportunities to consider acculturation and race/ethnicity in behavior modification among adolescents.