Extra-familial social factors and obesity in the Hispanic Community Children’s Health Study/Study of Latino Youth

Julia I. Bravin, Angela P. Gutierrez, Jessica L. McCurley, Scott C. Roesch, Carmen R. Isasi, Alan M. Delamater, Krista M. Perreira, Linda Van Horn, Sheila F. Castañeda, Elizabeth R. Pulgaron, Gregory A. Talavera, Martha L. Daviglus, Maria Lopez-Class, Donglin Zeng, Linda C. Gallo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Hispanic/Latino youth are disproportionately affected by obesity. However, how social factors outside of the family relate to Hispanic/Latino youth obesity is not well understood. We examined associations of extra-familial social factors with overweight/obesity prevalence, and their variation by sex and age, in 1444 Study of Latino Youth participants [48.6% female; 43.4% children (8–11 years); 56.6% adolescents (12–16 years)], who were offspring of the Hispanic Community Health Study/Study of Latinos participants. Youth self-reported general social support from friends, dietary-, and physical activity (PA)-specific support from peers, and awareness/internalization of thinness ideals. Overweight/obesity was defined as body mass index ≥ 85th percentile. Logistic regression models assessed effects of social factors and their interactions with age-group and sex, adjusting for potential confounders. Social support from friends interacted with both age and sex in relation to overweight/obesity. Female children who reported lesser (OR 0.60; 95% CI [0.39, 0.91]) and female adolescents who reported greater (OR 1.35; 95% CI [1.06, 1.74]) social support from friends had higher odds of overweight/obesity. Among males, greater awareness/internalization of thinness ideals related to higher odds of overweight/obesity (OR 2.30; 95% CI [1.59, 3.31]). Awareness/internalization of thinness ideals was not associated with overweight/obesity among females. Dietary and PA-specific peer support did not relate to overweight/obesity. Social support from friends and awareness/internalization of thinness ideals were significantly related to odds of overweight/obesity in Hispanic/Latino youth; associations varied by age and sex, and persisted after control for intra-familial factors (overall family support/function; diet and activity specific support).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)947-959
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Behavioral Medicine
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 1 2019


  • Children
  • Hispanic
  • Latino
  • Obesity
  • Peer support
  • Social factors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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