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Healthier Schools & Latino Kids Research: Access to Activity Programs

This is part of our Healthier Schools & Latino Kids: A Research Review » The need for structured physical activity programs at school Studies have shown that schools can help increase physical activity and promote healthy behaviors among Latino children by providing structured physical activity programs. In a study of 459 middle school girls (73% Latina) who participated in Get Moving!, a school-based intervention aimed at increasing physical activity and decreasing sedentary behaviors, girls who received the intervention were significantly less sedentary (P <0.05) and more intrinsically motivated to engage in regular exercise (P <0.05) compared with girls who received no intervention.53 Participants in the Grand Canyon Trekkers program, a 16-week structured walking ...

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Healthier Schools & Latino Kids Research: Physical Activity


This is part of our Healthier Schools & Latino Kids: A Research Review » Latino students have few options for physical activity during school Studies suggest that Latino children may have fewer opportunities to engage in physical activity at school than their White counterparts. In a study evaluating physical education and recess practices among U.S. public elementary schools,44 elementary schools with primarily Latino students were less likely than those with primarily White students to offer 20 minutes of recess daily. Latino schools were also less likely than White schools to offer physical education for at least 150 minutes per week, although the difference did not reach statistical significance. A study of 102 public elementary schools in Rhode Island revealed that ...

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Healthier Schools & Latino Kids Research: School Food Policies

healthier school snacks

This is part of our Healthier Schools & Latino Kids: A Research Review » Latino schools tend to have less effective food policies While most school districts have a policy that addresses competitive foods, results from several studies suggest that the policies at schools with more Latino students are generally less effective and many schools have not implemented them.32–34 For instance, a longitudinal analysis conducted between 2001 and 2008 examined the BMI of 6,300 racially and socioeconomically diverse students from 40 states that set standards for competitive foods.33 Law strength and consistency were identified as two key factors affecting the law’s positive influence on student BMI. States with a relatively high proportion of Latino students were more likely to ...

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Healthier Schools & Latino Kids Research: School Food Environment


This is part of our Healthier Schools & Latino Kids: A Research Review » Latino students access to unhealthy competitive foods at school Two national studies suggest ethnic disparities regarding access to specific types of competitive food venues. The first study, using data collected in spring 2005 as part of the third School Nutrition and Dietary Assessment (SNDA III), included a nationally representative sample of 395 U.S. public schools and found that Latino high-school students had greater access to brand-name fast foods in schools than their black or White peers.20 This same study found no differences in access to healthy foods based on student ethnicity or socioeconomic status. The second study, an updated report of the National Secondary School Survey, a comprehensive ...

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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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