•  
  •  
 

Abstract

Purpose: Overweight and obesity is a prevalent chronic disorder in Mexican Americans, however, obesity-related behaviors and the role of gender remain unclear. This study examined gender difference in obesity-related health behaviors among Mexican Americans. Methods: A sample (n=1439) was drawn from the Cameron County Hispanic Cohort, a prospective cohort sample of Mexican American adults aged 18 years and older living in a large and poor city along the Texas / Mexico border. The participants’ baseline demographic, behavioral, and clinical measures were used for this analysis. Descriptive statistics and chi-square tests were conducted to analyze the data. Results: The sample had a mean age of 48.06 ± 15.60 years, 67.06% female, 48.81% employed, 45.66% had less than high school education, 77.57% chose to complete survey in Spanish, and 31.65% had some type of public or private insurance. Females (57.82% vs. 47.08% males) were more likely to have a lower than high school education (p<.0001), while males were more likely to be employed (66.31% vs. 40.41%). About 88% males and 84% females were either overweight (25≤BMI<30) or obese (BMI≥30). Males (39.47% vs. 31.18%) were more likely overweight, while females (53.28% vs. 48.68% in males) were more likely obese. We also found poor health behaviors contributing to the high obesity prevalence. Females (18.98% vs. 11.11%) were more likely to adhere to U.S. fruit and vegetables guidelines of more than 5 portions, p=.0005, while males (36.42% vs. 27.94%) were more likely to adhere to U.S. physical activity guidelines of 150 minutes moderate to vigorous weekly, p=0.0013. Conclusions: There were significant gender differences in obesity-related behaviors in the Texas / Mexico Hispanic cohort. Interventions for this population need to take gender difference into consideration when designing appropriate behavior change strategies.

 

To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.