Maternal acculturation and the growth of impoverished Mexican American infants

Linda Luecken, Shannon L. Jewell, David Mackinnon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Objective: Identification of early life risk factors that predispose low-income Hispanic children to obesity is critical. For low-income Mexican American mothers, the cultural context may influence maternal experience and behaviors relevant to infant weight and growth. Methods: In a longitudinal study of 322 low-income Mexican American mother-infant dyads, linear growth modeling examined the relation of maternal acculturation to infant weight gain across the first year and evaluated birth outcomes, breastfeeding, and maternal BMI as mediators. Results: There was a high prevalence (36% >95th percentile) of infants with obesity at 1 year. Higher maternal acculturation was associated with lower birth weight, higher infant weight at 6 weeks, and a lower prevalence of breastfeeding. Mediation analyses supported formula-feeding as a mediator of the relation between higher maternal acculturation and an increasing slope of infant weight gain across the first year. Conclusions: Breastfeeding may have measurable benefits for Mexican American child obesity status in this high-risk population, particularly among those with more acculturated mothers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)445-451
Number of pages7
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Endocrinology
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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