More than 39 percent of Latino children ages 2-19 are overweight or obese, compared to almost 32 percent of all U.S. children.
Higher rates of Latino childhood obesity, which places Latino children at higher risk of developing chronic diseases, are particularly alarming given that Latino children comprise 22 percent of all U.S. youth and represent the largest, youngest, and fastest-growing minority group in the nation.
Obesity is a complex issue for Latino children. Some pressing factors include:
- Latino kids may find few options for physical activity out of class and out of school.
- Latino kids have limited access to parks, playgrounds, and other recreational areas, making it harder for them to be active and maintain a healthy weight.
- Schools may sell high-fat, high-sugar snack foods and beverages, in places like vending machines, a la carte snack lines, and school stores.
- Lack of access to healthy foods, such as fresh produce, whole grains, and low-fat dairy products, makes it harder for Latino kids to eat a healthy diet.
- Studies report that Latino kids are exposed to 13 hours of media per day, compared to about 8 hours per day for their White peers.
- Latino kids drink more sugary beverages—soda, sports and energy drinks, fruit-flavored drinks, and sweetened milk—than their white peers.
To help find and share solutions to these challenges, the new Salud America! website serves as a clearinghouse—with news, research, maps, videos, resources, and Salud Hero stories of successful change.
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Find additional info on childhood obesity from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.