Assessing child obesity and physical activity in a hard-to-reach population in California's central valley, 2012-2013

Sara E. Schaefer, Rosa Camacho-Gomez, Banafsheh Sadeghi, Lucia Kaiser, J. Bruce German, Adela De la Torre

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Introduction: In California's agricultural Central Valley, the rate of childhood obesity is higher than the national average. Adequate physical activity contributes to obesity prevention and its assessment is useful to evaluate the impact of interventions. Methods: Niños Sanos, Familia Sana (Healthy Children, Healthy Family [NSFS]) uses community-based participatory research to implement an intervention program to reduce childhood obesity among people of Mexican origin in the Central Valley. Anthropometric measurements were conducted on more than 650 children enrolled in NSFS. Physical activity data from a subgroup of children aged 4 to 7 years (n = 134) were collected via a wearable accelerometer. Results: Children were classified on the basis of age and sex-adjusted body mass index as healthy weight (57.7%); overweight (19.3%), or obese (23%). Logistic regression showed that moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA) was associated with a child's likelihood of having a healthy BMI (odds ratio: 1.03; 95% CI, 1.01-1.05; P = .017). Conclusion: NSFS's community-based participatory approach resulted in successful use of a commercial electronic device to measure physical activity quantity and quality in this hard-to-reach population. Promotion of adequate daily MVPA is an appropriate and necessary component of NSFS's childhood obesity prevention strategy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number140577
JournalPreventing chronic disease
Issue number7
StatePublished - 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health Policy


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