A comparison of maternal health status and weight-related cognitions, behaviors, and home environments by race/ethnicity

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This cross-sectional study compared weight-related cognitions, behaviors, and home environments of 568 mothers of young children (ages 2 to <9 years) by racial/ethnic group. Maternal health status was good and did not differ by race/ethnicity. Mothers were somewhat confident in their ability to promote healthy physical activity and eating behaviors in their children, with White and Asian mothers having greater confidence than Hispanic mothers. Mothers had low physical activity, with Hispanic mothers getting more sedentary screentime than White and Asian mothers. Mothers’ dietary intake did not differ. Modeling of healthful behaviors was more frequent in White than Hispanic mothers. Asian mothers tended to use non-recommended feeding patterns more than White, Hispanic, and Black mothers. Children’s physical activity and screentime did not differ by race/ethnicity. Asian children tended to drink less sugar-sweetened beverages and more milk than counterparts. All reported frequent family meals, with Hispanic mothers reporting more family meals eaten in less healthful locations. Household food environments did not differ. However, White mothers reported greater access to physical activity space and supports than Hispanic mothers. Race/ethnicity may link with maternal weight-related cognitions, behaviors, and home environments and thus can help inform the development of interventions tailored by race/ethnicity.

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