Metabolic and behavioral predictors of weight gain in Hispanic children: The Viva la Familia Study

Nancy F. Butte, Guowen Cai, Shelley A. Cole, Theresa A. Wilson, Jennifer O. Fisher, Issa F. Zakeri, Kenneth J. Ellis, Anthony G. Comuzzie

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    106 Scopus citations


    Background: Despite the high prevalence of overweight among Hispanic children in the United States, definitive predictors of weight gain have not been identified in this population. Objective: The study objective was to test sociodemographic, metabolic, and behavioral predictors of 1-y weight gains in a large cohort of Hispanic children studied longitudinally. Design: Subjects (n = 879) were siblings from 319 Hispanic families enrolled in the Viva la Familia Study. Families were required to have at least one overweight child aged 4-19 y. One-year changes in weight and body composition by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry were measured. Data were from parental interviews, birth certificates, multiple-pass 24-h dietary recalls, 3-d accelerometry, 24-h respiration calorimetry, measurements of eating in the absence of hunger, and measurement of fasting blood biochemistry indexes by radioimmunoassay. Generalized estimating equations and principal component analysis were applied. Results: Weight gain increased with age (P = 0.001), peaking at ≈10 y of age in girls and ≈11 y of age in boys. Mean (±SD) weight gain was significantly higher in overweight (7.5 ± 3.7 kg/y) than in nonoverweight (4.4 ± 2.4 kg/y) children and in boys than in girls. When adjusted for age, age squared, sex, and Tanner stage, the final model indicated a child's body mass index (BMI; kg/m2) status, maternal BMI, energy expenditure (total energy expenditure, basal metabolic rate, and sleeping metabolic rate), and fasting blood biochemistry indexes (total triiodothyronine, insulin, leptin, and ghrelin) as independent, positive predictors of weight gain (P = 0.01-0.001). Conclusion: Knowledge of the metabolic and behavioral predictors of weight gain in Hispanic children will inform prevention and treatment efforts to address this serious public health problem in the United States.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)1478-1485
    Number of pages8
    JournalAmerican Journal of Clinical Nutrition
    Issue number6
    StatePublished - Jun 1 2007


    • Eating behavior
    • Energy expenditure
    • Food intake
    • Physical activity

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Medicine (miscellaneous)
    • Nutrition and Dietetics


    Dive into the research topics of 'Metabolic and behavioral predictors of weight gain in Hispanic children: The Viva la Familia Study'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this