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Santa Fe, New Mexico (51.2% Latino) is still struggling with increasing rates of obesity among children and adults, where reports detail 28.8% percent of adults in the state are obese and 25.6% of kindergarten students were obese or overweight in 2015.
The 2015 report from the New Mexico Childhood Obesity Update, revealed that third graders and kindergarten rates of obesity have decreased by 10.6% over six years, but the majority of students in New Mexico, namely Hispanic students, have experienced very little decline in rates of obesity over the last six years.
Many in school efforts around healthier foods, and physical activity helped decrease the continued rising rates of childhood obesity, but now other efforts around sugary drink consumption are being discussed.
Mayor Javier Gonzales recently asked the Santa Fe city manager to consider ways to reduce sugary beverage consumption among city residents, reported an opinion editorial from the Santa Fe New Mexican.
Many states and cities have already discussed a soda tax and are looking to vote on their cities soda taxes on November 8th this year, hoping to reduce consumption and increase dollars for public health and city efforts.
Hispanic students are the majority elementary school-aged children in New Mexico, and unfortunately already deal with higher risks of diabetes, heart disease, and obesity, and students who drink more sugary drinks are at even greater risks of developing these diseases.
In fact, about 74 percent of Latinos have had a sugary drink by age 2, studies show.
Various efforts to reduce obesity are better than a one rule solution, but decreasing sugary beverage consumption among Latino youth in schools and local city parks is one step that may help decrease the rising rates of chronic disease and obesity among the youth of Santa Fe.