Examine relationships between adult obesity, childhood overweight, and food insecurity.
Cross-sectional retrospective study.
Community settings in Hartford, Connecticut.
Convenience sample of 200 parents and their 212 children, aged 2-12.
Adult obesity (Body Mass Index [BMI] > 30), childhood overweight (BMI-for-age > 95(th) percentile), and household food security (U.S. Department of Agriculture module).
Chi-square tests between weight status and socioeconomic characteristics. Multinomial regression analyses to determine risk factors for adult obesity and childhood overweight.
Over half of parents (51%) were obese, and almost one-third of children (31.6%) were overweight. Over half of households were food insecure. Food insecure adults were significantly more likely to be obese as those who were food secure (Odds Ratio [OR]=2.45, p = .02). Being a girl and having an obese parent doubled the likelihood of children being overweight (OR=2.56, P = .01; OR=2.32, P = .03). Children with family incomes below 100% of poverty were half as likely to be overweight as those with higher incomes (OR=.47, P = .05). Food insecurity did not increase odds of childhood overweight.
Obesity prevention programs and policies need to address food insecurity and gender as key risk factors.