Obesity Among Latino Children Within a Migrant Farmworker Community

Latino children of migrant farmworkers are at high risk for obesity but many parents are not concerned about their overweight children.

Florida researchers interviewed Hispanic migrant parents (mostly mothers) about their children’s weight. Most of the farm-working parents had less than a high school education and almost all (83%) were overweight or obese.

Some 47 percent of children were overweight or obese, with elementary school girls having the greatest probability of being overweight or obese. Most parents of obese children were concerned about their child’s weight, but parents of overweight children were not. Overweight children are viewed by many Hispanic mothers as healthier than thinner children.

Consequently, “parents were more likely to endorse intent to engage in [some form of corrective] action to improve their child’s weight when their child’s weight fell in the obese category.”