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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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Active Spaces & Latino Kids Research: Future Research

Group Of Young Children Running Towards Camera In Park

This is part of our Active Spaces & Latino Kids: A Research Review » Future research needs To increase access to physical activity sites in Latino communities, further research is needed on the effectiveness of SUAs for increasing physical activity in Latino communities. Many of the communities with SUAs have reported on challenges and solutions to implementing a SUA, but none provided data on the impact of SUAs on physical activity levels. Therefore, to encourage the implementation of SUAs in more Latino communities, more data are needed to support their effectiveness in increasing physical activity among Latino children. Real and perceived barriers to implementing SUAs should be further explored to identify areas for improvement in policies and legislation and to educate ...

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Active Spaces & Latino Kids Research: Policy Implications

earlimart shared use school yard

This is part of our Active Spaces & Latino Kids: A Research Review » Conclusions Latino children in underserved communities have limited opportunities for physical activity because of inadequate access to recreation facilities, unavailable school recreational facilities, and neighborhood characteristics that negatively impact use of these spaces. Many avenues and resources exist to increase access to recreation facilities among Latino children: Shared use agreements (SUAs) have been successfully implemented in some predominantly Latino communities. Incorporating the community in developing SUAs, sharing related costs, and solving liability concerns—via improved state and local policies and increased awareness of existing statutory protections for schools—can further ...

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Active Spaces & Latino Kids Research: Marketing of Physical Activity


This is part of our Active Spaces & Latino Kids: A Research Review » Social marketing to encourage physical activity in children An example of a successful community-based social marketing campaign is VERB, which promoted physical activity among U.S. children ages 9-13 years and four specific racial/ethnic groups, including Latinos.92 Participants received appealing messages through VERB-branded radio and TV advertisements with the tag line, “It's what you do!” For Latinos in particular, the tag line was modified to “Ponte las Pilas,” or “Get going” (the literal translation is “put in your batteries”). The advertisements emphasized family values, had an emotional tone, and were delivered in Spanish by authority figures and media personalities who were well ...

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Active Spaces & Latino Kids Research: Park Maintenance and Safe Streets

This is part of our Active Spaces & Latino Kids: A Research Review » Achieving safer streets and routes Improving elements of the built environment, such as neighborhood and park infrastructure, and facilitating safe routes for active travel may help address many of these barriers and promote physical activity among Latino children. The National Complete Streets Coalition aims to improve the conditions of neighborhood streets for safer use by pedestrians and bicyclists, whereby “communities direct their transportation planners and engineers to routinely design and operate the entire right of way to enable safe access for all users, regardless of age, ability, or mode of transportation.” Many states, cities and towns are adopting Complete Streets planning ...

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Active Spaces & Latino Kids Research: Unpleasant Neighborhood Characteristics


This is part of our Active Spaces & Latino Kids: A Research Review » How sidewalks and the built environment impact physical activity Characteristics of neighborhoods and the built environment—man-made features in the community, such as sidewalks, streets, buildings, parks and playgrounds—may prevent Latino children from using available physical activity sites.46–59 These include: availability and accessibility of competitive transport alternatives and infrastructures (e.g., transit, sidewalks, bike lanes; availability of local government and highway funds for sidewalks and bike lanes; frequency of non-motorized transportation (variation by trip purpose and/or trip distance); presence of integration between residential and commercial land use in dense population ...

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Active Spaces & Latino Kids Research: Shared Use Agreements


This is part of our Active Spaces & Latino Kids: A Research Review » The goal to increase access to schoolyards after school One of the goals for Healthy People 2020 is to increase the access to school physical activity facilities during non-school hours, with a current goal of having 31.7 percent of U.S. schools providing access by 2020.11 The previous target, from Healthy People 2010, was to have 50 percent of schools allowing access by 2010; however, data showed that no progress was being made so the goal was revised.31 In fact, fewer schools provided access to their physical activity facilities in 2006 (29%) than the baseline in 2000 (35%), although the difference was not statistically significant. Before 2010, the School Health Policies and Programs Study (SHPPS) sought ...

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Active Spaces & Latino Kids Research: Access to Active Spaces

playground locked with kids

This is part of our Active Spaces & Latino Kids: A Research Review » Latino children lack access to active spaces Latino children living in underserved communities in the United States have limited access to physical activity sites. Increasing access to physical activity sites may increase physical activity among Latino children in these communities. Children in underserved communities often have insufficient access to physical activity sites, such as trails, recreational facilities, and parks.18–23 A study investigating the availability of recreational resources in neighborhoods of three diverse areas of the United States—Baltimore city and county, Maryland; Forsyth County, North Carolina; and Manhattan and the Bronx, New York—found that Latino neighborhoods were less ...

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