Risk Factors for Childhood Obesity among Asian Americans: A Systematic Review of Literature and Recommendations for Health Care Research
- Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved
- Johns Hopkins University Press
- Volume 26, Number 2, May 2015 Supplement
- pp. 171-190
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Childhood obesity has become an epidemic across all racial/ethnic groups in the U.S., including Asian Americans. With different cultures, beliefs, and lifestyles, Asian Americans may face unique sets of risk factors for childhood obesity. This review critically assesses and summarizes the literature on risk factors for childhood obesity among Asian Americans. Among the 14 studies identified, five (35.7%) used national or state-level data, seven (50%) targeted Chinese Americans, and two (14.3%) focused on Hmong Americans. Multiple risk factors for childhood obesity among Asian Americans were reported, including acculturation, generational status, and family functioning. Limitations of the literature included use of small samples, scarcity of ethnically specific data for Asian American subgroups, shortage of qualitative studies, and lack of theoretical foundation. More disaggregated studies are needed to examine the important variability that may exist in risk factors for childhood obesity among Asian American subgroups.