Background: Obesity risk may cluster in families due to shared physical and social environments.
Purpose: Identify family typologies of obesity risk using indicators of family environments.
Methods: Using data from parent/youth dyads (n=76) in the Twin Cities, Minnesota in 2007 and 2008, we applied latent profile analysis to identify family typologies, and general linear models to evaluate associations of family types with youth body mass index (BMI) Z-scores and parent BMI.
Results: Three typologies describes most families with 18.8% identified as "Unenriched/Obesogenic," 16.9% as "Risky Consumer," and 64.3% as "Healthy Consumer/Salutogenic." After adjustment for demographic and socioeconomic factors, in families identified as unenriched/obesogenic, we found higher parent BMIs (BMI difference = 2.7, p<0.01) and higher youth BMI z-scores (BMI z-score difference = 0.51, p<0.01) relative to their counterparts in the healthy consumer/salutogenic typology. In contrast, parent BMI and youth BMI z-scores did not differ statistically between those in the risky consumer type relative to those in the healthy consumer/salutogenic type.
Conclusions: We can identify family types differing in obesity risk, with implications for public health interventions.