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Active Spaces & Latino Kids Research: Introduction and Methodology

This is part of our Active Spaces & Latino Kids: A Research Review » Introduction Nearly 40 percent of U.S. Latino youths ages 2-19 are overweight or obese compared with 28.5 percent of non-Latino white youths.1 Physical activity is important for good health, physical and cognitive growth and development, and maintaining a healthy weight.2 However, Latino children in underserved communities often have limited opportunities for physical activity.3,4 In a national survey conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau, fewer Latino (70%) than white (82.5%) respondents described their neighborhoods as having safe places for children to play.5 A study conducted in Southern California found that children of racial/ethnic minorities living in poverty have less access to parks and physical ...

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Active Spaces & Latino Kids: A Research Review

Abstract Latino kids and families have limited spaces to be physically active. What are the best ways to improve Latino families’ access to “active spaces” like gyms, athletic fields, parks, and playgrounds? Many schools do not provide public access to physical activity facilities. Shared use agreements set up rules for public use of schoolyards after class. Repairing sidewalks, installing street lights, and improving parks can stimulate more physical activity. Creating safer streets can people to walk or cycle to schools, parks, and other family destinations. Also, using marketing and technology to change Latino kids’ physical activity patterns. Read the Issue Brief in English (PDF) Read the Issue Brief in Spanish (PDF) Contents Introduction & Methods. This ...

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Food & Latino Kids Research: Future Research

This is part of our Food and Latino Kids: A Research Review » Future Research Needs This review of the evidence indicates that researchers should conduct additional and more rigorously designed studies, such as experimental or quasi-experimental studies with less reliance on self-reported data whenever possible. Future research should examine the degree to which increased access to local healthy foods impacts dietary habits and obesity in Latino communities. Researchers also should: Identify other multilevel factors (for individuals, at homes, in neighborhoods, counties and cities), that contribute to obesity and health outcomes. Such factors include stressors, lack of time or interest in preparing healthy foods, prices for healthy foods that far exceed those for unhealthy ...

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Food & Latino Kids Research: Access to Healthy Food

access to healthy food store

This is part of our Food and Latino Kids: A Research Review » Increased access to healthy foods in low income neighborhoods does not necessarily ensure that it will lead to improvements in residents’ diets. Some studies some no affect on dietary improvement Two studies of low-income neighborhoods that have reported findings without racial sub-analyses have shown that increased access to healthy foods does not affect diet quality in low-income neighborhoods. A national study using longitudinal data observed that proximity to a supermarket was not related to diet quality in low-income young to middle-aged adult populations.27 In addition, the first controlled (one intervention neighborhood and one comparison neighborhood), longitudinal study of a PFFFI-funded project found that ...

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Food & Latino Kids Research: Supermarkets

BigBet4_Better Food in Neighborhood-Supermarkets-final

This is part of our Food and Latino Kids: A Research Review » More access to supermarkets results in less obesity risk Greater neighborhood access to supermarkets catering to underserved populations is linked to a lower prevalence of obesity in adults and children. Evidence from systematic reviews, longitudinal and cross-sectional studies collectively show the relationship between greater access to supermarkets and lower prevalence of obesity. Only two studies have analyzed the relationship between lack of local supermarket access and obesity over a period of time (2 years and 4 years). The data from these studies show mixed evidence in adults and children. One study reported that an increase in accessible supermarkets was associated with decreased BMI for adults who moved ...

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Food & Latino Kids Research: Farmers Markets

farmers market infographic

This is part of our Food and Latino Kids: A Research Review » Access to farmers markets is lacking among Latinos In the past decade, the number of farmers’ markets in the United States has more than doubled.51 However, many of these markets had not previously been accessible to underserved and Latino populations. Efforts to increase number of farmers markets A number of food financing initiatives have increased the number of farmers’ markets operating in underserved communities.52 For example, through the activities of community groups, there are nearly a dozen farmers’ markets in underserved neighborhoods in Oakland, California. Latinos comprise 25 percent of these communities.53 Similarly, the Y USA’s Pioneering Healthier Communities initiative prompted the ...

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Food & Latino Kids Research: WIC and SNAP


This is part of our Food and Latino Kids: A Research Review » Latinos are a major participant in federal food assistance Research on the impacts of healthy food financing initiatives among SNAP and WIC participants is important because a large proportion of them are Latino, and/or belong to underserved populations. Latinos comprise 19 percent of SNAP and 32 percent of WIC participants.36,37 About 50 percent of U.S. Latino children are served by the WIC program.37 Efforts to promote healthier food via federal food assistance In 2009, the U.S. government revised the “package” of food eligible for WIC food to include a wider variety of healthy foods, including whole grains, fruits and vegetables, and lower-fat milk. Three studies found that the new WIC food package ...

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Food & Latino Kids Research: Corner Stores

tiendas bodegas corner stores

This is part of our Food and Latino Kids: A Research Review » Efforts rising to boost healthy food in corner stores Initial findings on the impact of initiatives aimed at expanding healthy foods in corner stores have been generally favorable, although most studies to date are not large and rigorous in their methods and analyses. Additionally, the majority of studies have not been conducted in areas with significant Latino populations. Two reviews of several studies on corner store initiatives in areas with small numbers of Latinos found that most stores reported that the interventions were linked to increased sales of promoted healthy foods, including fruits and vegetables, low-fat milk, high-fiber cereals, and water.71,72 A small, randomized, controlled study of tiendas in ...

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Food & Latino Kids Research: Marketing of Unhealthy Food

Latino kid remote TV

This is part of our Food and Latino Kids: A Research Review » Latinos face economic barriers to healthy eating Focus groups of Latino mothers have revealed that the most significant barrier to establishing healthy eating habits for their children is economic constraint.82 Many Latino families experience intermittent or chronic food insecurity; however, food is usually given the highest priority. Because of financial constraints, lower-income Latino mothers’ food purchases are driven almost exclusively by price.83 Mothers have expressed that they commonly travel to several different locations to purchase specific items at the lowest prices available.82 These practices demonstrate that Latino mothers’ desire to provide healthy meals for their families and protect their ...

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