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Maternal grandmothers’ household residency, children’s growth, and body composition are not related in urban Maya families from Yucatan

journal contribution
posted on 23.11.2020, 10:46 by Hugo Azcorra, Barry Bogin, Federico Dickinson, Ines Varela-Silva
Purpose: To analyze the influence of grandmothers’ household residency on the presence of low height-for-age and excessive fat mass index (FMI=fat mass [kg]/height [m]2), waist circumference-for-age and sum of triceps and subscapular skinfold-for age of grandchildren in a sample of 247 6 to 8-year-old urban Maya children from Yucatan, Mexico.
Methods: From September 2011 to January 2014, we obtained anthropometric and body composition data from children and mothers, as well as socioeconomic characteristics of participants and households. Place of residence of grandmothers was used to define the geographical proximity between them and their grandchildren and was set into two categories: 1) households with grandmothers at home (n=71), 2) and households without grandmothers at home (n=176). Multiple logistic regression models were used to analyze the association between grandmothers’ household residency and outcome variables. Models were adjusted for maternal anthropometric characteristics and socioeconomic variables: family size, location, maternal education, monthly family income and household crowding status.
Results: Models showed that the presence of grandmothers’ at their grandchildren’s household was not associated with any of the outcome variables. In contrast, larger family size, overcrowding in the household and lower family income predicted low height-for-age in children. Larger family size decreased the risk for overweight based on the three parameters of body composition, but overcrowding in the household increased the risk for greater skinfolds thickness, while low family income increased the risk for greater fat mass index.
Conclusion: The residency of grandmothers to their adult daughters’ household is not significantly associated with the outcome variables in this sample of urban Maya families. Instead, maternal anthropometric characteristics and socioeconomic conditions of the family have a greater influence on the overall growth of children.



  • Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences

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Human Nature


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Dr Ines Varela Silva. Deposit date: 19 November 2020