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Research finds promising approaches to prevent Latino childhood obesity
Date:2/14/2013

earch network. The ranks of those working to reverse the country's obesity epidemic are getting stronger each day."

In the United States, Latinos are currently the most populous and fastest-growing ethnic minority. About 44 percent of Latino boys and 38 percent of Latino girls are either overweight or obese, compared with an average rate of 31 percent. Children who are overweight or obese are more likely to remain so later in life, which can put them at greater risk for long-term health conditions, such as high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, and some forms of cancer.

The supplement presents Salud America! studies that sought effective approaches for preventing and controlling obesity among Latino children. The studies represent work conducted in eleven states and a variety of participants, research methodologies, and outcomes.

Within the Latino community, studies concluded that:

  • Owners of small, independent restaurants can improve access to healthy menu options and continue to publish calorie information on their menus
  • Tending community gardens or attending nutrition and cooking workshops improved or maintained children's body mass indices and increased the presence of fruits and vegetables in the home
  • Capitalizing on the interconnectedness of one's faith and health, religious communities can serve as conduits for obesity prevention programs that offer faith-oriented cooking classes, health education, and physical activity opportunities
  • A child's participation in an afterschool fitness program can increase the likelihood of subsequent fitness over a two-year period
  • Barriers related to transportation, language, and school communication can negatively affect families' physical activity
  • Policy development and environmental change are possible to stimulate physical activity, based on a study administered within the United States Mexico border colonias

Within schools, a team of investiga
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Contact: Brianna Lee
eAJPM@ucsd.edu
858-534-9407
Elsevier Health Sciences
Source:Eurekalert

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