Table of Contents
International Journal of Population Research
Volume 2016, Article ID 2420167, 8 pages
Research Article

Risk Factors for Overweight and Obesity among Mexican Children in New York

1Department of Society and Culture, El Colegio de la Frontera Sur (ECOSUR), Carretera Panamericana y Periférico Sur s/n, Barrio María Auxiliadora, 29290 San Cristóbal de Las Casas, CHIS, Mexico
2Department of Sociology, University at Albany, SUNY, Arts & Sciences 327, 1400 Washington Avenue, Albany, NY 12222, USA

Received 11 September 2015; Accepted 4 January 2016

Academic Editor: Pranitha Maharaj

Copyright © 2016 Esperanza Tuñón-Pablos and Joanna Dreby. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


This paper analyses the risk factors for being overweight or obese among the children of Mexican migrants in the United States. It draws on a qualitative study consisting of in-depth interviews and participant observation with 30 parents in New York State. Findings indicate risks related to nutritional deficiencies and food insecurity before migration, adaptation to US lifestyles, and the cultural tendency to value being overweight as a sign of greater health and higher socioeconomic status. Findings also show that mothers use various strategies to resist the excessive consumption of fast food, yet they simultaneously experience dilemmas around the family’s consumption due to the gender norm that women are responsible for children’s diet.