Latina Mom and Baby Health Research: Policy Implications



This is part of our Latina Mom and Baby Health: A Research Review » Conclusions Early infant feeding habits surrounding breastfeeding and formula supplementation can impact childhood obesity among Latino youths. State and federal policies may be able to improve exclusive breastfeeding rates and duration by promoting support for breastfeeding in hospitals, childcare centers, workplaces, schools and public areas. Latina women may not be meeting recommendations for physical activity and/or gestational weight gain during pregnancy, and there is a need for increased education of expectant Latina mothers by their physicians. By increasing physical activity and reducing gestational weight gain (GWG) during pregnancy, childhood obesity rates may be positively affected. As poor eating ...

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Latina Mom and Baby Health: A Research Review



Abstract One of four U.S. kids is already overweight or obese by age 2-5, with a higher prevalence among Latino kids (30%) than white kids (21%). How can we promote a healthy weight by kindergarten? Mothers’ physical activity and healthy eating habits before and during pregnancy play a big role. Breastfeeding also has many positive effects on children. Interventions or policies aimed at improving breastfeeding rates, while reducing formula marketing, among Latina mothers may be critical to promoting healthy weight goals. Healthy eating and physical activity habits established during early childhood care settings also is a stepping stone toward lifelong health. Read the Issue Brief in English (PDF) Read the Issue Brief in Spanish (PDF) Contents Introduction & ...

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Healthier Schools & Latino Kids: Future Research



This is part of our Healthier Schools & Latino Kids: A Research Review » Future Research Needs To effectively address the issue of overweight and obesity among Latino children and adolescents, additional research is needed to better discern the impact of the school food environment on Latino weight status. Future studies should directly address the question of whether reducing access to competitive foods has long-term positive effects on BMI among Latino students. Additional studies should more firmly establish the contribution of competitive foods to Latino students’ food choices and consumption patterns, as well as the extent to which the surrounding food environment in Latino communities contributes to overall dietary habits of Latino children and ...

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Healthier Schools & Latino Kids Research: Policy Implications


school food line

This is part of our Healthier Schools & Latino Kids: A Research Review » Conclusions When competitive foods are available, Latino students are more likely to purchase and consume these foods than their White peers. Access to competitive foods in schools associated with higher consumption of low-nutrient, energy-dense foods among Latino children and adolescents. While many school districts have a policy that addresses competitive foods, the policies influencing schools with a higher proportion of Latino students are generally weak, though this may decrease as districts comply with the national standards. Given initial evidence on the impact of restricting competitive foods during the school day on student consumption of foods of minimal nutritional value and obesity, ...

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Healthier Schools & Latino Kids Research: Access to Activity Programs



This is part of our Healthier Schools & Latino Kids: A Research Review » The need for structured physical activity programs at school Studies have shown that schools can help increase physical activity and promote healthy behaviors among Latino children by providing structured physical activity programs. In a study of 459 middle school girls (73% Latina) who participated in Get Moving!, a school-based intervention aimed at increasing physical activity and decreasing sedentary behaviors, girls who received the intervention were significantly less sedentary (P <0.05) and more intrinsically motivated to engage in regular exercise (P <0.05) compared with girls who received no intervention.53 Participants in the Grand Canyon Trekkers program, a 16-week structured walking ...

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Healthier Schools & Latino Kids Research: Physical Activity


Optimized-HealthierSchools-PhysicalActivity

This is part of our Healthier Schools & Latino Kids: A Research Review » Latino students have few options for physical activity during school Studies suggest that Latino children may have fewer opportunities to engage in physical activity at school than their White counterparts. In a study evaluating physical education and recess practices among U.S. public elementary schools,44 elementary schools with primarily Latino students were less likely than those with primarily White students to offer 20 minutes of recess daily. Latino schools were also less likely than White schools to offer physical education for at least 150 minutes per week, although the difference did not reach statistical significance. A study of 102 public elementary schools in Rhode Island revealed that ...

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Healthier Schools & Latino Kids Research: School Food Policies


healthier school snacks

This is part of our Healthier Schools & Latino Kids: A Research Review » Latino schools tend to have less effective food policies While most school districts have a policy that addresses competitive foods, results from several studies suggest that the policies at schools with more Latino students are generally less effective and many schools have not implemented them.32–34 For instance, a longitudinal analysis conducted between 2001 and 2008 examined the BMI of 6,300 racially and socioeconomically diverse students from 40 states that set standards for competitive foods.33 Law strength and consistency were identified as two key factors affecting the law’s positive influence on student BMI. States with a relatively high proportion of Latino students were more likely to ...

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Healthier Schools & Latino Kids Research: School Food Environment


Optimized-HealthierSchools-Food

This is part of our Healthier Schools & Latino Kids: A Research Review » Latino students access to unhealthy competitive foods at school Two national studies suggest ethnic disparities regarding access to specific types of competitive food venues. The first study, using data collected in spring 2005 as part of the third School Nutrition and Dietary Assessment (SNDA III), included a nationally representative sample of 395 U.S. public schools and found that Latino high-school students had greater access to brand-name fast foods in schools than their black or White peers.20 This same study found no differences in access to healthy foods based on student ethnicity or socioeconomic status. The second study, an updated report of the National Secondary School Survey, a comprehensive ...

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Healthier Schools & Latino Kids Research: Introduction and Methods


girl in cafetaria with chocolate milk and lunch

This is part of our Healthier Schools & Latino Kids: A Research Review » Introduction Obesity is a nationwide problem in the United States, and Latino children and adolescents are especially at risk. Nearly 40 percent of U.S. Latino youths ages 2-19 are overweight or obese, compared to 28.5 percent of non-Latino white youths, according to a recent estimate.1Among children ages 2-5, 29.8 percent of Latino children are overweight or obese; this compares to about 21 percent of non-Latino white children of the same age. The prevalence of obesity among Latino children and adolescents is of great concern given the multiple adverse physical and mental health issues related to obesity, including cardiovascular disease, asthma, type 2 diabetes, liver disease, sleep apnea, and ...

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Healthier Schools & Latino Kids: A Research Review



Abstract Latino kids need a healthy school environment, especially given that 1 in 3 public school children will be Latino in a few years. How can we healthy schools become then norm? Latino students are more exposed to unhealthy food in and out of school. Stronger nutrition standards for snack foods and drinks will help Latino and all students access to healthier snacks at school, which can positively influence body mass index (BMI) trends for all populations. Latino students also engage in less physical activity than their peers in school, and before and after school. Implementing culturally relevant programs that reduce barriers can increase activity opportunities for Latino kids. Read the Issue Brief in English (PDF) Read the Issue Brief in Spanish ...

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