Parental Perception of Child Bodyweight and Health Among Mexican-American Children with Acanthosis Nigricans

Dejun Su, Terry T.K. Huang, Renaisa Anthony, Athena Ramos, Drissa Toure, Hongmei Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Acanthosis nigricans (AN) is a cutaneous marker associated with elevated risk of type 2 diabetes. This study assesses mother–father differences in perception of child’s bodyweight and health by Mexican-American parents with AN-positive children. The study used medical records in conjunction with survey data collected between 2011 and 2012 for 309 Mexican-American children with AN in South Texas. Multivariate logit models were estimated to assess mother–father differences in perception of child bodyweight and health controlling for selected child- and parent-level covariates. About 91 % of the children in the sample were obese and 6.5 % were overweight. One fifth of mothers and 38.5 % of fathers in the sample expressed no concern of their children’s bodyweight. After adjusting for selected explanatory variables at both the child and parent level, the odds for fathers, relative to mothers, to be concerned about child’s bodyweight were 82 % lower (OR = 0.18, p < 0.05). Similar findings also hold for parental awareness of child’s AN (OR = 0.19, p < 0.05). Among Mexican-American families with AN-positive children, the lack of concern over child’s bodyweight, unawareness of AN, and misconception of child’s health on the part of many parents, especially of fathers, constitutes a challenge to diabetes prevention. Health education programs targeting Mexican-American families with AN-positive children might be more cost effective to consider mother–father differences in perception of child health and bodyweight.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)874-881
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Immigrant and Minority Health
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 2014


  • Acanthosis nigricans
  • Diabetes
  • Mexican-American children
  • Obesity
  • Parents

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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