Objective: Identification of early life risk factors that predispose low-income Hispanic children to obesity is critical. For low-income Mexican American mothers, the cultural context may influence maternal experience and behaviors relevant to infant weight and growth. Methods: In a longitudinal study of 322 low-income Mexican American mother-infant dyads, linear growth modeling examined the relation of maternal acculturation to infant weight gain across the first year and evaluated birth outcomes, breastfeeding, and maternal BMI as mediators. Results: There was a high prevalence (36% >95th percentile) of infants with obesity at 1 year. Higher maternal acculturation was associated with lower birth weight, higher infant weight at 6 weeks, and a lower prevalence of breastfeeding. Mediation analyses supported formula-feeding as a mediator of the relation between higher maternal acculturation and an increasing slope of infant weight gain across the first year. Conclusions: Breastfeeding may have measurable benefits for Mexican American child obesity status in this high-risk population, particularly among those with more acculturated mothers.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Medicine (miscellaneous)
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
- Nutrition and Dietetics