Study: Severe Obesity Rates in Low-Income Latino Children Are Rising



Latino children accounted for the highest increase in severe obesity among preschool-aged children from low-income households, a new CDC study found. The study examined children aged 2 to 4 under the enrollment of the Women, Infants and Children (WIC) program, which is a federal nutrition assistance program aimed at providing healthy foods for low-income women who are pregnant, breastfeeding, or postpartum, and children up to 5 years old, from 2010 to 2020. When the study began in 2010, 2.1% of children aged 2 to 4 in WIC were severely obese. A downward trend in severe obesity occurred for the next several years, when rates in that age group went from 2.1% in 2010 to 1.8% in 2016, the CDC study found. However, by the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, that number spiked back up to 2% in ...

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4 Factors that Increase Summer Obesity Risk in Latino Children


childhood summer obesity

During the summer months children are at a higher risk of obesity, according to the American Heart Association. This is concerning considering obesity rates are already sky-high in young Latino boys (30%) and girls (23%). But what exactly causes this increased risk for obesity during the summer? Let’s explore four factors that contribute to weight gain in Latino children during the summer and how we can break this cycle of poor health into the new school year and beyond. Increased Sedentary Behavior During the school year, households operate around a steady flow of activities, like school sports, that help keep children active. During the summer, children may lose access to school-related activities that promote exercise. That’s why visiting parks, lakes, and hiking ...

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Brain Scans Reveal What May Drive Obesity in Men, Women


Latino couple on video call.

Obesity can stem from genetics, food and activity, and social and environmental inequities. We also know from past research that brain structure and mental function are linked to being overweight or obese. Now a new study has identified differences in the brain’s neural pathways that help explain differences in obesity among men and women. “In women with obesity, changes in the brain tended to be centered on regions related to emotions, while in men with obesity, the changes tended to be found in regions that play a role in gut sensations, such as how hungry or full a person feels,” according to NBC News. For this study, researchers from the Goodman-Luskin Microbiome Center at UCLA studied brain scans – along with participants’ reports of their behavioral and mental ...

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South Texas Scientists Link Obesity to Alzheimer’s Gene


Tape measure and scale

Researchers from UT Health San Antonio have tied obesity to with 21 Alzheimer’s disease-related genes. In analyzing 74 Alzheimer’s-related genes from the Framingham Heart Study, researchers found that 21 of them were either under-expressed or over-expressed in obesity. “Several of the genes were more strongly related to obesity in midlife versus in late life, and also to obesity in women versus men,” said Dr. Claudia Satizabal, study lead author and assistant professor of population health sciences at UT Health San Antonio. Alzheimer’s Genes Linked to Obesity The UT Health San Antonio study also found 13 Alzheimer’s-related genes were associated with body mass index (BMI) and eight genes associated with a second metric of obesity called waist-to-hip ratio. “Those ...

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4 Ways to Eliminate Childhood Obesity


Latino students enjoying lunch.

Childhood obesity is not only common for U.S. children, it’s a global epidemic. How can communities address this issue? A new report from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF), Meeting the Moment: Learning From Leaders at the Forefront of Change, asked community leaders and researchers to share their experiences in hopes of better understanding and preventing childhood obesity. “It is you who get out there every day and innovate, renovate, and motivate the field to keep going, keep trying, keep striving,” said Jamie Bussel, senior program officer for the RWJF. Let’s explore four key areas community leaders can eliminate childhood obesity! 1. Improve Health Data Accurate health data is important. For instance, we know Latino adults have higher obesity rates ...

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Isabella Jimenez Brings ‘My Fun Food’ to Your Phone, Kitchen



Isabella Jimenez is a Latina on a mission for health. At age 12, she had an idea for an app that serves as a digital cookbook where young people can learn to cook easy, healthy recipes and find tips in trivia games. She worked hard preparing recipes, creating and testing an app, and securing funding. At age 16, she launched the My Fun Food app. Now age 18, Isabella is an entrepreneur studying business at UT Austin and taking the My Fun Food app – which has a 5.0 rating in the Apple Store – to new levels. “The main purpose of the app is to provide a resource to the community,” Isabella said. “All the recipes are cost efficient, fast and quick, and easy to make.” Let’s explore what’s new since the last time Salud America! caught up with Isabella! Isabella: ...

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Reframing Childhood Obesity Through a Cultural Lens


Latino family eating dinner.

In the last few years, childhood obesity has become a global epidemic. The effort to change individual choices – like diet and physical activity – hasn’t solved the problem, and also contributes to weight discrimination. That is why we need to use cultural insights, nutritional science, and a systemic focus to improve child health, according to a new report from the Vanderbilt University Cultural Context of Health and Wellbeing Initiative. “What we label ‘obesity’ is produced by interrelated systems in which human biology interacts with environments, social norms, economic structures, and historical legacies,” according to a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation blog post about the report, Reframing Childhood Obesity: Cultural Insights on Nutrition, Weight and Food ...

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Sugary Drinks Increase Prediabetes Risk for Latinos


Sugary Drinks Increase Prediabetes Risk for Latinos

Consuming sugary drinks like soda and juice may increase the risk of prediabetes for Latino adults, according to a new study from Duke University School of Medicine. “What we found in this study is that unfortunately, having more than two drinks a day does increase your risk and is associated with having prediabetes,” said Dr. Leonor Corsino of the Duke University School of Medicine, according to CBS17. Latinos are at high risk for diabetes and other medical conditions. It’s important that we reduce sugary drink consumption, especially for Latino youth. What Did the Study Find on Prediabetes and Sugary Drinks? Corsino and her research team collected data from the Hispanic Community Health Study/Study of Latinos, which is the most comprehensive long-term study of health ...

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Workshop: How to Advance Systemic Change to Reduce Obesity


obesity workshop roundtable latina girl grocery store fruit

Latinos and other people of color suffer high rates of obesity. This is often due to racist policies and discriminatory practices that create less access to healthcare, healthy food, affordable housing, and financial resources for families of color. What can we do about this? You are invited to join a virtual workshop, "Systems and Obesity: Advances and Innovations for Equitable Health and Well-Being," on Thursday, Oct. 28, 2021 (10 a.m. To 2:45 p.m. ET) and Friday, Oct. 29, 2021 (1 p.m. to 4 p.m. ET). This is the third workshop in a series from the Roundtable on Obesity Solutions of the Health and Medicine Division of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. Find the results of the first and second workshop. "The workshop will explore how to ...

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