Publications -- Susan F. Franks

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This collection is limited to articles published under the terms of a creative commons license or other open access publishing agreement since 2016. It is not intended as a complete list of the author's works.


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    How often parents make decisions with their children is associated with obesity
    (BioMed Central Ltd., 2018-09-25) Rahman, Adrita; Fulda, Kimberly G.; Franks, Susan F.; Fernando, Shane I.; Habiba, Nusrath; Muzaffar, Omair
    Background: Evidence supports that better parental involvement and communication are related to reduced obesity in children. Parent-child collaborative decision-making is associated with lower BMI among children; while child-unilateral and parent-unilateral decision-making are associated with overweight children. However, little is known about associations between joint decision-making and obesity among Hispanic youth. The purpose of this analysis was to determine the relationship between parent-child decision making and obesity in a sample of predominantly Hispanic adolescents. Methods: Data from two studies focused on risk for type II diabetes were analyzed. A total of 298 adolescents 10-14 years of age and their parent/legal guardian were included. Parents completed questionnaires related to psychosocial, family functioning, and environmental factors. Multiple logistic regression was used to determine the association between obesity (≥ 95th percentile for age and gender), the dependent variable, and how often the parent felt they made decisions together with their child (rarely/never, sometimes, usually, always), the primary independent variable. Covariates included gender, age, ethnicity, total family income, and days participated in a physical activity for at least 20 min. ORs and 95% CIs were calculated. Results: Adolescent participants were predominantly Hispanic n = 233 (78.2%), and approximately half n = 150 (50.3%) were female. In multivariate analyses, adolescents who rarely/never made decisions together with their family had significantly higher odds (OR = 3.50; 95% CI [1.25-9.83]) of being obese than those who always did. No association was observed between either those who sometimes make decisions together or those who usually did and those that always did. Conclusions: Parents and children not making decisions together, an essential aspect of parent-child communication, is associated with increased childhood obesity. The results of our study contribute to evidence of parental involvement in decision-making as an important determinant of adolescent health. Further studies should explore temporal relationships between parenting or communication style and obesity.
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    Liver Biomarkers and Lipid Profiles in Mexican and Mexican-American 10- to 14-Year-Old Adolescents at Risk for Type 2 Diabetes
    (Hindawi, 2017-07-26) Fernández-Gaxiola, Ana Cecilia; Valdés-Ramos, Roxana; Fulda, Kimberly G.; López, Ana Laura Guadarrama; Martínez-Carrillo, Beatriz E.; Franks, Susan F.; Fernando, Shane I.
    Liver enzymes alanine aminotransferase (ALT) and gamma glutamyl transferase (GGT) are markers for type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM); alkaline phosphatase is a marker of liver disease. Mexican-American adolescents are disproportionately affected by T2DM, while in Mexico its prevalence is emerging. We assessed liver biomarkers and lipid profiles among Mexican and Mexican-American adolescents 10-14 years old with high/low risk of T2DM through a cross-sectional, descriptive study (Texas n = 144; Mexico n = 149). We included family medical histories, anthropometry, and blood pressure. Obesity was present in one-third of subjects in both sites. ALT (UL) was higher (p < 0.001) in high-risk adolescents (23.5 ± 19.5 versus 17.2 ± 13.4 for males, 19.7 ± 11.6 versus 15.1 ± 5.5 for females), in Toluca and in Texas (26.0 ± 14.7 versus 20.0 ± 13.2 for males, 18.2 ± 13.4 versus 14.6 ± 10.1 for females), as well as GGT (UL) (p < 0.001) (18.7 ± 11.1 versus 12.4 ± 2.3 for males, 13.6 ± 5.8 versus 11.5 ± 3.9 for Mexican females; 21.0 ± 6.8 versus 15.4 ± 5.5 for males, 14.3 ± 5.0 versus 13.8 ± 5.3 for females in Texas). We found no differences by sex or BMI. Total cholesterol and HDL were higher among Mexican-Americans (p < 0.001). In conclusion, multiple risk factors were present in the sample. We found differences by gender and between high and low risk for T2DM adolescents in all liver enzymes in both sites.