January 1992

Indications of Early Obesity in Low-Income Hmong Children

Author Affiliations

From the Division of Human Development and Nutrition, School of Public Health, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis (Drs Himes and Story and Ms Dahlberg-Luby), and the Minneapolis Health Department (Ms Czaplinski).

Am J Dis Child. 1992;146(1):67-69. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1992.02160130069023

• Objective.  —To determine if there is evidence of obesity in low-income Hmong children.

Design.  —Cross-sectional survey.

Setting.  —Women, Infants, and Children clinics in Minneapolis, Minn.

Participants.  —271 US-born Hmong children, ages 1.00 through 4.99 years.

Selection Procedures.  —Consecutive sample of all Hmong children seen in two clinics between September and December 1989.

Interventions.  —None.

Measurements/Main Results.  —Heights and weights were measured and converted to National Center for Health Statistics z scores of weight for age, height for age, and weight for height. Relative to National Center for Health Statistics reference data, mean height-for-age z scores decline progressively after age 2 years to − 1.2 z at age 4.5 years. Mean weight-for-height z scores exceeded the National Center for Health Statistics reference significantly at ages 3 and 4 years, and there was more than a fourfold excess of Hmong children beyond the 95th percentile in weight for height at these ages.

Conclusions.  —There is evidence of early obesity in Hmong children, an ethnic group heretofore considered to be a low risk for obesity.(AJDC. 1992;146:67-69)