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Journal of Obesity
Volume 2015, Article ID 945918, 8 pages
Research Article

Reducing Hispanic Children’s Obesity Risk Factors in the First 1000 Days of Life: A Qualitative Analysis

1Division of Gastroenterology and Nutrition, Boston Children’s Hospital, 300 Longwood Avenue, Boston, MA 02115, USA
2Division of General Academic Pediatrics, Department of Pediatrics, Massachusetts General Hospital, 100 Cambridge Street, 15th floor, Boston, MA 02114, USA
3Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences, Harvard School of Public Health, 677 Huntington Avenue, Kresge Building, Boston, MA 02115, USA
4Warren Alpert Medical School, Brown University, 111 Brewster Street, Pawtucket, RI 02860, USA

Received 24 July 2014; Revised 19 October 2014; Accepted 20 October 2014

Academic Editor: Li Ming Wen

Copyright © 2015 Jennifer A. Woo Baidal et al. 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.


Objectives. Modifiable behaviors during the first 1000 days (conception age 24 months) mediate Hispanic children’s obesity disparities. We aimed to examine underlying reasons for early life obesity risk factors and identify potential early life intervention strategies. Methods. We conducted 7 focus groups with 49 Hispanic women who were pregnant or had children < age 24 months. Domains included influences on childhood obesity risk factors and future intervention ideas. We analyzed data with immersion-crystallization methods until no new themes emerged. Results. Themes included coping with pregnancy may trump healthy eating and physical activity; early life weight gain is unrelated to later life obesity; fear of infant hunger drives bottle and early solids introduction; beliefs about infant taste promote early solids and sugary beverage introduction; and belief that screen time promotes infant development. Mothers identified physicians, nutritionists, and relatives as important health information sources and expressed interest in mobile technology and group or home visits for interventions. Conclusion. Opportunities exist in the first 1000 days to improve Hispanic mothers’ understanding of the role of early life weight gain in childhood obesity and other obesity risk factors. Interventions that link health care and public health systems and include extended family may prevent obesity among Hispanic children.