Perception of childhood obesity and support for prevention policies among latinos and whites

Douglas M. Puricelli Perin, Leah Frerichs, Sergio Costa, Amelie G. Ramirez, Terry T.K. Huang

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2 Scopus citations


A cross-sectional survey was administered to Latino and White residents of Omaha, NE, to assess perception of the childhood obesity problem, attribution of responsibility, and support for obesity-related policies. The sample included 40.8% (n = 271) Latinos and 59.2% (n = 393) Whites. Among Latinos, 25% did not see childhood obesity as a problem, compared to 6% of Whites (P < 0.001). This difference persisted after adjusting for age, gender, and education level (odds ratio (OR) 2.10, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.07-4.14). Latinos were more likely to agree that government was responsible for addressing childhood obesity compared to Whites (OR 2.81, 95% CI 1.82-4.35). Higher support for policy interventions was observed among individuals who perceived childhood obesity as a big problem compared to those who did not, independent of race, sex, age, or education level. The relationship between support for tax-based policies and perception of the childhood obesity problem was mainly evident among Latinos rather than Whites. Despite city-wide efforts to address obesity, differential penetration in community subgroups appears evident. There is room to further engage Latinos in the cause of obesity. Deepening community awareness about the consequences and complexity of childhood obesity can lead to stronger support for childhood obesity policy interventions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number328276
JournalJournal of Obesity
StatePublished - 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism


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