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Structural equation modeling of the associations between the home environment and obesity-related cardiovascular fitness and insulin resistance among Hispanic children

Margarita Santiago-Torres, Yuchen Cui, Alexandra K. Adams, David B. Allen, Aaron L. Carrel, Jessica Y. Guo, Tara L. LaRowe, Dale A. Schoeller
Appetite 2016 v.101 pp. 23-30
Hispanics, beverages, body mass index, children, diet, exercise equipment, homeostasis, insulin resistance, metabolic diseases, parents, physical activity, questionnaires, risk, structural equation modeling, urban population, Wisconsin
Hispanic children are disproportionally affected by obesity-related risk of metabolic disease. We used the structural equation modeling to examine the associations between specific diet and physical activity (PA) behaviors at home and Hispanic children's metabolic health. A total of 187 Hispanic children and their parents from an urban community in Wisconsin participated in the study. Exposure variables included, children's daily intake of sugar-sweetened beverages (SSB) and PA; home availability of SSB and PA areas/equipment; and parents' intake of SSB and PA, assessed through self-administered questionnaires. Outcome variables for children's metabolic health included, measured anthropometrics; cardiovascular fitness assessed using the Progressive Aerobic Cardiovascular Endurance Run (PACER); and insulin resistance determined with the homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance (HOMAIR). We found that children's daily intake of SSB was positively associated with BMI z-score, which in turn, was positively associated with HOMAIR (P < 0.05). Specific diet behaviors at home associated with children's intake of SSB, included home availability of SSB, which mediated the association between parents' and children's intake of SSB (P < 0.05). Children's PA was positively associated with PACER z-score, which in turn, was inversely associated with HOMAIR (P < 0.05). Specific PA behaviors at home associated with children's PA, included home availability of PA areas/equipment, which mediated the association between parents' and children's PA (P < 0.05). The structural equation model indices suggested a satisfactory model fit (Chi-square, X2 = 53.1, comparative fix index = 0.92, root-mean-squared error associated = 0.04). The findings confirm the need for interventions at the family level that promotes healthier home environments by targeting poor diet and low levels of PA in all family members.