Objectives Disparities exist in rates of overweight/obesity between Latino and non-Latino populations. Attention should be given to risk factors that may be modifiable through interventions involving both the parent and child. The current study sought to identify ethnic differences in parental health beliefs and their relation to children’s health behaviors. Methods Latina and non-Latina mothers (N = 203) at rural and urban clinics and health departments completed self-report questionnaires. Key information included beliefs about barriers and benefits to health practices and children’s health behaviors. Results Children of Latina mothers consumed significantly more soda and fried foods and exercised less than children of non-Latina mothers. Latina mothers were significantly more likely to perceive barriers to healthy eating and significantly less likely to perceive benefits to healthy eating and physical activity than non-Latina mothers. Ethnicity mediated the relationship between maternal views of health benefits and soda consumption. Conclusions Policy changes are needed to promote health education and increase the accessibility of healthy foods and safe places to exercise for Latino families.
- Food choice
- Health beliefs
- Physical activity
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- Obstetrics and Gynecology
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health