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Childhood January 24 Obesity in Relation to Culture

2013
Margaret M. Jarvis

Table of Contents
3...Abstract 4................................................................................................................................Introduction 5.......................................................................................................................................Hypothesis 6.Materials 7...Methods 8Data and Results 13.....................................................................................................................................Discussion 16....................................................................................................................................Conclusion 17.Bibliography 19...................................................................................................................................Appendix-A

Abstract: Childhood obesity has reached epidemic levels throughout most of the world. In the United States the population hit the hardest by this disease are Hispanic males ages 6-11. This specific epidemic is the subject of this study. Hispanic boys ages 6-11 have approximately a 10% higher rate of obesity than any other race or gender their same age. To find out why this would be, students at an elementary school in the Salt Lake Public School District were given a survey to determine what they did with their time and what they ate on a regular basis. The students were organized into categories of Hispanic males, Hispanic females, non-Hispanic males, nonHispanic females. The resulting conclusion was that Hispanic males were required to do less work around the house than Hispanic females, although they were more involved in sports and other outdoor activities, among other reasons.

Intro: According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), in Utah adult obesity is at 22.5% where as 6.4% of children (ages 9-12) are considered obese (CDC 2012). Body Mass Index is a measurement of height and weight in comparison. Obesity is defined as a person with a BMI of 30 or greater (CDC 2012). This epidemic has been affecting the children of this country in ways never anticipated. There has been much concern and action regarding how to combat childhood obesity. Recently, however, it was discovered that in the past decade that the amount of boys ages 6-19 who are obese is increasing whereas girls are staying level with the past decade (Ogden). The racial demographic of 6-19 year-old boys that has the highest percentage of obese boys are the Latinos of America (Ogden). Childhood obesity is a great and increasing problem which is contributing to the adult obesity problem. Children are getting diseases that were previously only seen in adults. For instance, type II Diabetes is now a large issue in adolescents (CDC 2012). Also, children now experience high blood pressure, sleep apnea (a breathing disorder which causes not enough oxygen to reach the body while sleeping), joint problems, and many other weight related issues (CDC 2012). Today it is thought that if obesity can be recognized and stopped at an early age it wont be as much of a problem as those children turn into adults with good healthy habits. While, this thinking is something that will most likely in the future solve the obesity crisis, the epidemiologic community doesnt know enough about what a regular childs day is like to make conclusions as to what could potentially be the cause of childhood obesity. In the past, scientists have done hit and miss experiments where they observed poor nutrition, not enough exercise, and/or more T.V. However, according to a study done in 1997 by R. Sturm, T.V. is being watched less than it was in 1980. Sturms study asked the question what do children do every day? Not how does this potential cause affect childrens lives. Studies like this can be used in asking better questions about the causes of obesity and how to combat them. While obesity is a problem in all ethnicities, it seems to be especially a problem among the Hispanic population. Hispanic boys, under age 19, in particular are suffering from the obesity crisis. Many factors as to why Hispanic children have a higher percentage of obese deal with the fact that many Hispanic families are low-income families (Leadership for Health Communities, 2010). For example, many Hispanic neighborhoods are considered unsafe by parents. Therefore they dont allow their children to play outside as parents had in the past or even in richer neighborhoods which have lower crime rates (Leadership for Health Communities, 2010). The question that hasnt been answered, yet, is why Hispanic boys, under age 19, have a higher percentage of obese rather than Hispanic girls or other boys their same age.
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Hypothesis: If Hispanic boys have the highest percentage of obesity in the age group between 8 and 11, and if a survey is given to determine how Hispanic boys and all other demographics, male and female, in the same age use their time and what they eat on a daily basis after being weighed and measured to determine BMI, then it will be shown that Hispanic boys exercise less, eat more, and play more videogames than all other variables.

Materials

Survey about diet and time-use (see Appendix-A) 5, 8-11 Hispanic boys 10, 8-11 Hispanic girls 6, 8-11 non-Hispanic boys 5, 8-11 non-Hispanic girls Consent forms for parents Letters to the schools explaining the project

Methods: Subjects, ages 8-11, were collected from a school in the Salt Lake City Public School District. Consent forms were given to parents of the children and those who consent were tested. Consent forms were not linked to surveys so that participants could be de-identified so that no personal information was collected. Participants could withdraw from the study at any time. Subjects filled out a survey (see Appendix-A) to determine their gender, ethnicity, time-use, and nutrition. Data was qualitative based on a survey given to children ages 8-11 on time-use and nutrition. Data on time-use was be put into categories (i.e. playtime, school, etc.). Data from the surveys about nutrition (i.e. how often subjects eat out, eat in, eat fast food, etc.) was then compared with time-use categories. Data was put into graphs based on gender and ethnicity. The control groups, male and female, Hispanic and non-Hispanic, were compared to Hispanic boys, the experimental group, to determine any differences in time-use and nutrition.

Data and Results: Nutrition Results:

Percent of Meals at a Fast Food Restaurant per Month


60 Percentage 45 30 15 0

al e

Fe m al e

M al e

N on -H is pa ni c

H is pa ni c

None 1-2 Times/Month 3-4 Times/Month 5 or More Times/Month

Figure 1: The graph portrays the amount of meals consumed at a fast food restaurant per month by frequency.

N on -H is pa ni c

H is pa ni c

Fe m al e

Percent of at Home Dinner per Month


90.0 Percentage 67.5 45.0 22.5 0

al e

Fe m al e

N on -H is pa ni c

H is ap an ic

None 1-2 Times/Month 3-4 times/Month 5 or More Times/Month

Figure 2: The graph portrays the amount of dinners spent at home per month by frequency

Percent that Drink Sugary Drinks


100 Percentage 75 50 25 0 Hispanic Male Non-Hispanic Male Hispanic Female Non-Hispanic Female Yes

Figure 3: The graph portrays the amount that consume sugary drinks (i.e. soda, juice, etc.).

N on -H is pa ni c

H is pa ni c

Fe m al e

M al e

Time-use Data:

Percent Involved in Sports


100 Percentage 75 50 25 0 Hispanic Male Non-Hispanic Male Hispanic Female Non-Hispanic Female Yes

Figure 4: The graph represents the amount involved in after-school or school supported active activities.

Percent Hours Spent on Electronics per Day


Percentage 100 75 50 25 0

al e

Fe m al e

M al e

N on -H is pa ni c

H is pa ni c

None 1-3 Hour(s)/Day 4-6 Hours/Day 7 or More Hours/Day

Figure 5: The graph represents the amount of time spent per day on electronics (i.e. computers, T.V., video games, etc.)

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N on -H is pa ni c

H is pa ni c

Fe m al e

Percent of Time Spent Outside in the Summer


80 60 40 20 0 Percentage

al e

Fe m al e

M al e

N on -H is pa ni c

H is pa ni c

None 1-2 Days/Week 3-4 Days/Week 5 or More Days/Week

Figure 6: The graph portrays the amount of time spent outside per week during the summer.

Percent of Time Spent Outside in Winter


60 45 30 15 0 Percentage

al e

Fe m al e

M al e

N on -H is pa ni c

H is pa ni c

None 1-2 Days/Week 3-4 Days/Week 5 or More Days/Week

Figure 7: The graph portrays the amount of time spent outside in the winter per week.

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N on -H is pa ni c

H is pa ni c

Fe m al e

N on -H is pa ni c

H is pa ni c

Fe m al e

Chores Regularly
90.0 67.5 Percentage 45.0 22.5 0 Hispanic Male Yes Hispanic Female

Figure 8: The graph portrays the frequency of those who regularly do chores.

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Discussion:

Obesity is one of the top five preventable reasons for death in the United States (Danaei, Ding, Mozaffarian, Taylor, Rehm, Murray & Ezzati, 2009). Childhood obesity is one of the major causes of adult obesity and is a growing problem today. This study was based on the fact that Hispanic boys ages 6-11 have approximately a 10% higher obesity rate in the age range of 6-11 than any other demographic that same age (Ogden). The results, although not as dramatic as the hypothesis suggested, have shown that Hispanic boys do in fact spend their time in a manner dissimilar to Hispanic girls in regards to how much activity they do and eat food that is unhealthy more often and in larger quantity than Hispanic girls. However, much of the resulting data from the survey given was different than what the hypothesis had predicted. In the first part of the hypothesis, it was predicted that Hispanic boys would spend less time outside and instead more time on electronics than Hispanic girls, and non-Hispanic girls and boys. In figure 4, however, it was shown that 100% Hispanic boys were involved in sport. Hispanic boys were also shown to have spent quite a lot of time outside in comparison to the other variables, no matter the season. This concludes that unorganized and organized play time is not the reason why Hispanic boys have a 10% higher rate of obesity (Ogden). Hispanic boys seem to have a fairly normal and active amount of playtime. When asked how often they were on electronics (figure 5), 100% of the Hispanic boys tested were shown to be on electronic devise at least 1-2 times per day. This is higher than Hispanic females, but both non-Hispanic groups spent more time on electronics that Hispanic boys. These results give difference to Hispanic girls and boys, and potentially contribute to why Hispanic boys have a much higher rate of obesity than Hispanic girls. However, these results do not fully answer the question because the non-Hispanic groups spent more time on electronic devices. The children were also asked if they did chores regularly in their household (figure 8). 90% of Hispanic girls, 60% of non-Hispanic girls, and 66.7% of non-Hispanic boys answered that they did do chores regularly in their household. 80% of Hispanic boys answered that they did not do chores regularly. Household chores seem to be the key as to why Hispanic boys have such a high rate of obesity in comparison to other groups, in regards to time-use. This could be caused by the Hispanic culture and the treatment of boys in comparison to girls within that culture. Although, how time is spent and how much activity a child has in a contributing factor to obesity, it is not the only reason. In the second part of the thesis, it was predicted that Hispanic boys, 8-11, would not eat as well as Hispanic girls, non-Hispanic boys and girls. In the survey the children were asked how often they ate at a fast food restaurant per month (figure 1). 0% of Hispanic males said they ate at a fast food restaurant 5 or more times per month, whereas 40% of Hispanic females, 20% of non13

Hispanic females, and 16.7% of non-Hispanic males said that they ate fast food 5 or more times per month. The results of fast food eaten conclude that while Hispanic boys do eat fast food, it does not seem that they eat more fast food than the other groups of their same age. Therefore, fast food is not why Hispanic boys have a higher obesity rate than others. The children were also questioned how often they eat dinner at home (figure 2). Hispanic boys were shown to have answered that they eat less at home than Hispanic girls, in the extreme, and the other variables were only slightly more at home eating dinner than Hispanic boys. Eating dinner at home, therefore, may be a reason Hispanic boys and girls are different, however it gives no real distinction between Hispanic boys and non-Hispanic boys and girls. The next question on the survey asked whether or not the subject drank sugary drinks, such as juice or soda, often (figure 3). 100% of Hispanic males tested answered yes, where as 70% of Hispanic females, 80% of non-Hispanic males, and 60% of non-Hispanic females answered yes. Therefore, drinking sugary drinks contributes to Hispanic boys high obesity rate. Many things interfered with the data collection. The amount of subjects was a difficult problem. Schools have many protective measures for surveying students. The results were certainly skewed because of the lack of subjects. Also, while the children took the surveys, they copied off of their friends and therefore some of the surveys were biased. Another note is that in certain questions, more specifically figures 1 and 2, the answers given by different groups may have been different because not only were the numbers small, but the different groups may have remembered things differently and may not have been as accurate in reporting. In the future, this project can be continued. Questions are still unanswered. For instance, why do 90% of Hispanic girls say they do, do chores, and 20% of Hispanic boys say they dont (figure 8)? Or, why is it that while Hispanic boys say they all are involved in sports (figure 4) they still have a 10% higher obesity rate (Ogden)? Why is it that while Hispanic boys spend less time on electronics than non-Hispanic boys and girls (figure 5) they have a higher obesity rate (Ogden)? In conclusion, it can be deduced that a lack of time doing housework, an increase of time spent on electronics, a lack of dinners spent at home, and the drinking of sugary drinks factors into the high rate of obesity in Hispanic boys, ages 8-11. This is important because in the future, action can be taken to target these specific reasons in homes. For example, parents could be encouraged through marketing to give their children household responsibility or could be at least educated about how much of an impact in a childs life it has to have household chores and responsibility. Children could be taught about how important it is to play outside and could be encouraged to spend less time on electronics and more time playing on a sports team or other active activity. Drinks such as Sunny-D and other sugary drinks could be made to warn parents

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that they are not juice, nor are they healthy. Education can change our nation, and this study can help us get there.

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Conclusion: It was observed that some of the major contributing factors to Hispanic boys higher obesity rate (Ogden) include the drinking of sugary drinks and the lack of household chores. Other observations included the high amount of Hispanic boys on sports teams, an increased, but not particularly high, amount of time spent on electrionics for Hispanic boys, Hispanic boys having a slightly smaller amount of dinners spent at home than the other groups, and Hispanic boys being fairly similar to other groups in the amount of time they spend outside. It can be deduced that the culture of Hispanics influences the high obesity rate of Hispanic boys in the ages 8 to 11 (Ogden).

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BIBLIOGRAPHY Anderson, P., & Butcher, K. (2006). Childhood obesity: Trends and potential causes. Retrieved from http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/foc/summary/v016/16.1anderson.html Cawley, J. (2006). Markets and childhood obesity. Retrieved from http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/ foc/summary/v016/16.1cawley.html CDC. (2012). Basics about childhood obesity. Retrieved from http://www.cdc.gov/obesity/ childhood/basics.html CDC. (2012). Overweight and obesity. Retrieved from http://www.cdc.gov/obesity/ stateprograms/fundedstates/utah.html Danaei, G., Ding, E. L., Mozaffarian, D., Taylor, B., Rehm, J., Murray, J. & Ezzati, M. (2009, April 28). smoking, high blood pressure and being overweight top three preventable causes of death in the u.s. PLoS Medicine, 6(4), Retrieved from http:// www.hsph.harvard.edu/news/press-releases/smoking-high-blood-pressure-overweightpreventable-causes-death-us/ Leadership for Healthy Communites. (May, 2010). Overweight and obesity among latino youths. Retrieved from http://academicdepartments.musc.edu/lean_team/physicians/FactSheetOverweight and Obesity Among Latino Youths.pdf

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Ogden, C. (n.d.). Childhood obesity in the united states: The magnitude of the problem. Retrieved from http://www.cdc.gov/about/grand-rounds/archives/2010/download/ GR-062010.pdf Roblin. (2007, August). Childhood obesity: food, nutrient, and eating-habit trends and influences.. Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17622277 Strum, R. (1997). Childhood obesity what we can learn from existing data on societal trends, part 1. Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1323315/

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Survey DO NOT WRITE YOUR NAME


(Please circle one) Gender:! Girl ! ! Boy

Q1) How often do you eat a meal at a fast food place? (Please circle one) Never 1-2 time(s)/month times/month 3-4 times/month 5 or more

Q2) How often do you eat dinner at home? (Please circle one) Never 1-2 time(s)/month times/month 3-4 times/month 5 or more

Q3) Are you currently dieting? (Please circle one) Yes ! ! ! No

Q4) Are you involved in any sport or any other active after school activity? (Please circle one) Yes ! ! ! No

Q5) Whats your favorite subject in school? (Please circle one) English ! History Math Science Art P.E.

Q6) How much time do you spend on the computer, T.V., video games, and other electronics? (Please circle one)
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None

1-3 hour(s)/day

4-6 hours/day

7 or more hours/day

Q7) How much time do you spend playing outside in the summer? (Please circle one) None week 1-2 day(s)/week 3-4 days/week 5 or more days/

Q8) How much time do you spend playing outside in the winter? (Please circle one) None week 1-2 day(s)/week 3-4 days/week 5 or more days/

Q9) Do you do chores on a regular basis? (Please circle one) Yes! ! ! ! ! No

Q10) Do you drink juice and/or soda a lot? (Please circle one) Yes! ! ! ! ! No

------------------------~Survey End~------------------------Do NOT write after this point The items below will be completed by the school nurse Ethnicity (Please circle one): Hispanic ! Caucasian Asian Arabian Other (Please specify): __________ Native American African-American

Pacic Islander
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