Factors Involved in the Persistence of Overweight among Children Enrolled in the Supplemental Food Program for Women, Infants, and Children
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Objective To investigate differences between children ages 2 and 5 years enrolled in the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) in Texas whose overweight persisted and those whose overweight resolved. Methods The study involved administration of a survey to a randomly selected stratified sample of parents and guardians of WIC children residing in the 11 public health regions in Texas. Subjects volunteered to complete the survey during a scheduled WIC appointment. A total of 445 surveys were completed, 206 by parents/guardians of children classified as having persistent overweight, and 239 by those with children classified as having non-persistent overweight. Results and Conclusions A higher percentage of children in the non-persistent group were male, younger, white, consumed more dairy products, had a mother living in the household, and a family member who participated in physical activity with the child. A higher percentage of parents of children in the persistent group reported that they had been told their child was overweight and received information about overweight in children from the WIC staff. A higher percentage also felt their child was overweight, that their child’s weight could be improved, that their child’s weight did not improve in the last year and were concerned about their child’s weight. This study identified several variables associated with overweight persistence. WIC personnel and other public health educators can utilize these findings to identify overweight children who are at higher risk for non-improvement and to plan more effective intervention strategies for the population studied.
KeywordsWIC Survey Overweight Persistence Non-persistence
The authors would like to thank the Texas Department of Health for their funding contributions and Drs. Du Feng and Kenny Wu for their statistical expertise.
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