Factors contributing to infant overfeeding in low-income immigrant Latina mothers

Diana Cartagena, Suzanne W. Ameringer, Jacqueline M. McGrath, Saba W. Masho, Nancy Jallo, Barbara J. Myers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Background: Approximately 10% of U.S. infants and toddlers are considered overweight. Hispanic infants persistently show higher prevalence rates for being overweight compared to other infants. Little is known about factors promoting excessive infant weight gain in Latinos. Purpose: The aim of this study was to describe multidimensional factors and maternal feeding practices that may correlate with infant overfeeding in Latina mothers. Methods: Participants were 62 low-income immigrant Latina mothers and their infants. Study measures were: acculturation; maternal feeding beliefs and practices; food availability; temperament; 24-hour dietary recall; and infant's weight-for-height z score. Results: In regression models adjusted for infant's age, healthier feeding practices were significantly predicted by maternal education and infant's age. Most mothers preferred feeding their infants either formula or a combination of breast milk and formula. A significant proportion of the infants were overweight or obese and yet some mothers displayed difficulty recognizing this problem. Conclusion: Future intervention efforts should focus primarily on the promotion of healthy feeding practices that discourage overfeeding and support exclusive breastfeeding among this ethnic group.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)316-321
Number of pages6
JournalApplied Nursing Research
Issue number4
StatePublished - Nov 1 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Breastfeeding
  • Hispanic mother
  • Infant feeding
  • Latina mother
  • Overfeeding

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Nursing


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