The Dire Impact of Childhood Obesity on Mental Health


obese overweight latino girl sad mental health

You probably know obesity is bad for a child's health. But did you know obesity takes a toll on children's minds, too? An overweight or obese child has three times the risk for depression in adulthood as a normal-weight child. Risk rises four times for children who are overweight or obese in both childhood and adulthood, according to a new study, CBS News reports. Sadly, Latinos suffer high rates of both obesity and mental health conditions. That is why knowing the facts—and having the resources available can alter the effects of obesity on mental health—can lead child to a healthy lifestyle. The Facts on Obesity Childhood obesity is defined as a diagnosis for any child (same sex and age) "with a Body Mass Index at or above the 95th percentile", according to the Center ...

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Talking to Puppets Brings Mental Health into Kid Conversations


child puppets for mental health in Vermont

We all remember filing into a school auditorium as first graders and trying to stay awake during a dull, lackluster presentation. Did we learn something? Maybe. Do we remember it today? Probably not. Well, the Vermont Family Network (VFN) discovered a fun way—puppets!—to engage young children in talking about mental health. The Vermont network formed an educational puppet troupe that brings messages of health and inclusion to more than 10,000 children and adults each year in Vermont (2% Latino) and beyond. The troupe, called the Puppets in Education (PiE) program, is celebrating their 36th year of teaching students through puppetry! The PiE program uses 3-and-a-half-foot puppets to empower kids to talk about important, difficult issues. From the stage in schools, ...

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David’s Law and What it Means for Latinos


cyberbullying victim being video recorded on a smartphone by classmates in the street with a unfocused background

"David's Law" is now in effect to criminalize and prevent cyberbullying in and out of Texas schools. The law is named after David Molak, a 16-year-old San Antonio high school student who took his own life after months of relentless cyberbullying and physical threats. And David isn't the only one. Almost half the U.S. student population experiences some type of bullying. “David’s law will focus on prevention efforts in schools while offering consequences to those who wish to exploit and harass our children on the Internet," said Texas State Sen. Jose Menéndez, who filed Senate Bill 179 for David's Law. Cyberbullying Impacts Latino Youth Cyberbullying is a form of bullying. It doesn't happen in the halls or the classroom. It happens online, through social media, ...

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New Video: How Latino Parents Can Deal with Bullying


latina girl from bullying video

As if Latino immigrant parents didn’t face enough worry—hostile political climate, wage gaps, lack of access to health care—a new “stressor” is on the rise. Bullying of immigrant children is, sadly, common these days. More than 50 incidents of white students using politics to bully Latino and other minority children have been reported in 26 states, BuzzFeed reports. Feeling a need to help, the nonprofit Abriendo Puertas/Opening Doors has released a bilingual video to show Latino immigrant parents how to help their children who are victims of bullying. “At the start of the year, we were inundated with calls from concerned parents who were desperate for information on … how to keep their families safe,” said Sandra Gutierrez, founder and national director for ...

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#SaludTues Tweetchat 10/10: Latino Kids & Bullying


boy sad depressed bully bullying school playground sit

Did you know 17.2% of Latino students report being bullied at school? Latino and children who are bullied report frequent worries, sadness, and fearfulness. Race-related bullying has negative emotional and physical health effects. Latino parents even list bullying as their No. 1 child health concern, according to the recent National Poll on Children’s Health. How can we help? Let’s use #SaludTues on Tuesday, Oct. 10, 2017, to tweet how to stop bullying, create innovative bullying prevention programs in schools and communities, build better minds for Latino kids, and celebrate National Bullying Prevention Awareness Month in October! WHAT: #SaludTues Tweetchat: Latino Kids and the Crisis of Bullying TIME/DATE: 1-2 p.m. ET (Noon-1 p.m. CT), Tuesday, Oct. 10, 2017 ...

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Latino Parents Suing for Equity in Education in Massachusetts



Latino parents in Holyoke, MA (49.49% Latino population) have taken drastic measures in an effort to achieve a better standard of education equity for their children, according to The Boston Globe. In August 2017, the group Padres de Latinos de las Escuelas de Springfield y Holyoke (PLESH) filed a lawsuit against the Holyoke Public School District claiming that there was a failing to “provide adequate translation of educational documents” for parents with limited English proficiency. Nearly half of the 5,300 students in Holyoke live in homes where English isn’t the primary language. Per The Boston Globe report, 80% of all students in the district are Latino and the lawsuit focuses heavily on minority children in special education. “Nothing has changed,” said Glorimar ...

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The “Real” Cost of Bullying


boy sad depressed bully bullying school playground sit

Bullying can stress a Latino child's emotions and mental health, and can contribute to high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity and diabetes. That's bad enough. But bullying also can keep a child from attending school and impact the finances of school districts across the country, according to a new study by UT Austin, Medline reports. About 10% of kids in California (38.39% Latino population) missed at least one day of school in a month because they felt "unsafe" due to bullying, according to the study. That's about 301,000 kids missing school. And California schools—which get funding based on student attendance instead of total enrollment like in many other states—lose in excess of $275 million in funding each year when these bullied kids stay home. “Bullying ...

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School Lunch Shaming: A ‘Hidden’ Bully for Latino Kids


girl in cafetaria with chocolate milk and lunch

The classic bully takes a kid's lunch money. But a new type of bully—"school lunch shaming," when a student has no money for lunch to begin with—is on the upswing in schools across the country, CNN reports. This type of "hidden" or "unintentional" bullying greatly affects Latino kids. Latino kids comprise about 1 in 4 of the kids participating in the National School Lunch Program, according to the UnidosUS. "It's the working poor who get screwed," Jill Duban, who heads up a program called Common Threads a school district that helps low-income and homeless families, told CNN. "The lunch ladies are not always nice about it." Brown bags of shame Despite the large expansion of free and reduced lunch programs across the country, many kids simply cannot afford to pay $2.35 for ...

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Schools Reboots Recess to Boost Activity, Reduce Bullying



Edmonds School District, in Snohomish County (9.5% Latino), recently approved a Recess Remodel Program based on a program they piloted last spring to reduce bullying at recess and increase concentration in the classroom. The remodel includes “clearly delineated activity zones, such as four square, hopscotch and basketball” on the playground as well as physical education teachers to reinforce rules and safety. This more structured environment makes kid’s activity choices clear, which increases participation in physical activity, thus decreases disciplinary problems on the playground and increases impulse control in the classroom. In addition to reduced bullying and increased concentration, are the health benefits of increased physical activity. Latino kids are typically ...

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