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Latina Mom and Baby Health Research: Introduction and Methods


pregnant latina checkup baby

This is part of our Latina Mom and Baby Health: A Research Review » Introduction In the United States, obesity continues to be a nationwide problem, where Latino children and adolescents are particularly at risk. According to a recent estimate, nearly 40 percent of U.S. Latino youths ages 2-19 are overweight or obese, compared with only 28.5 percent of non-Latino white youths.1 Furthermore, the percentage of those who are overweight or obese between ages 2-5 is nearly 30 percent for Latino children compared with only 21 percent of non-Latino white children.1 The high prevalence of obesity among Latino children and adolescents is of great concern due to the numerous adverse physical and mental health issues related to obesity, such as cardiovascular disease, asthma, type 2 diabetes, ...

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Latina Mom and Baby Health Research: Breastfeeding Promotion



This is part of our Latina Mom and Baby Health: A Research Review » Limited time available for breastfeeding Short periods of maternity leave remain a major barrier to breastfeeding, as a woman’s employment plans commonly impact her plan to breastfeed.72–77 Women who return to work before 6 weeks are over 3 times as likely to stop breastfeeding than those who return to work later than 6 weeks postpartum.78,79 In addition, the timing of breastfeeding discontinuation is closely linked with the return to work in low-income mothers.72 A mother is more than twice as likely to quit breastfeeding during the month she returns to work compared with a mother who remains on leave.72 A longer duration of exclusive breastfeeding correlates with a longer period of maternity leave.72–77 ...

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Latina Mom and Baby Health Research: Marketing of Infant Formula


Latino health breastfeeding equity sustainability

This is part of our Latina Mom and Baby Health: A Research Review » Exposure to formula marketing can impact breastfeeding Given the benefits of breastfeeding on reducing childhood obesity in the Latino population, it follows that factors discouraging mothers from breastfeeding may be detrimental to childhood obesity rates in Latino youths. Exposure to formula marketing can have a negative affect on a woman’s decision to initiate and/or continue breastfeeding.116–118 Mothers enrolled in WIC may be at particularly high risk, as WIC is the largest consumer of infant formula in the U.S. and provides free formula to low-income mothers.119 In addition, many states allow formula manufacturer’s to use statements such as “WIC approved” or “WIC eligible,” which may falsely ...

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Latina Mom and Baby Health Research: Infant Habits



This is part of our Latina Mom and Baby Health: A Research Review » The importance of healthy habits for babies As we have discussed, a mother’s physical activity level during pregnancy and early infant breastfeeding practices both play an important role in limiting the risk of childhood obesity among Latino youths. Within the first year of life, infants experiencing rapid weight gain are more likely to become overweight in later years.156–159 As such, it is critical that parents continue to promote healthy eating habits and physical activity for their children during infancy and early childhood in order to encourage a healthy weight for life. This is particularly important for Latino families, as there is a higher rate of obesity among Latino preschoolers in the United ...

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Latina Mom and Baby Health Research: Early Childcare



This is part of our Latina Mom and Baby Health: A Research Review » Children spend many hours in early childcare settings Most young children spend a significant amount of time in day care, preschool, pre-kindergarten (pre-K), and Head Start programs.164 An estimated 60 percent of children younger than 6 are placed in some form of non-parental care during the work week, averaging.164 nearly 30 hours per week. This presents an opportunity for childcare centers and providers to encourage healthy behaviors in young children and to better educate parents on how to continue healthy behaviors at home.164 Early childcare settings can promote healthy behaviors Evidence from the literature supports the notion that childcare is an important resource for promoting healthy behavior among ...

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Latina Mom and Baby Health Research: Future Research


latina mom with baby food bottle

This is part of our Latina Mom and Baby Health: A Research Review » Future research needs Childhood obesity continues to be an ongoing epidemic in the U.S., especially among Latino youths. While many of the potential policies and interventions discussed in this review have been investigated in the literature in low-income or WIC-enrolled populations, many have not been thoroughly investigated directly in Latino populations. In order to further support the policy implications described herein, it will be important for investigators to provide further clinical evidence that these approaches are capable of affecting positive changes in childhood obesity endpoints in Latino infants and preschool-aged children. Future studies are particularly needed in the areas of paid parental ...

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Latina Mom and Baby Health Research: Policy Implications



This is part of our Latina Mom and Baby Health: A Research Review » Conclusions Early infant feeding habits surrounding breastfeeding and formula supplementation can impact childhood obesity among Latino youths. State and federal policies may be able to improve exclusive breastfeeding rates and duration by promoting support for breastfeeding in hospitals, childcare centers, workplaces, schools and public areas. Latina women may not be meeting recommendations for physical activity and/or gestational weight gain during pregnancy, and there is a need for increased education of expectant Latina mothers by their physicians. By increasing physical activity and reducing gestational weight gain (GWG) during pregnancy, childhood obesity rates may be positively affected. As poor eating ...

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Latina Mom and Baby Health: A Research Review



Abstract One of four U.S. kids is already overweight or obese by age 2-5, with a higher prevalence among Latino kids (30%) than white kids (21%). How can we promote a healthy weight by kindergarten? Mothers’ physical activity and healthy eating habits before and during pregnancy play a big role. Breastfeeding also has many positive effects on children. Interventions or policies aimed at improving breastfeeding rates, while reducing formula marketing, among Latina mothers may be critical to promoting healthy weight goals. Healthy eating and physical activity habits established during early childhood care settings also is a stepping stone toward lifelong health. Read the Issue Brief in English (PDF) Read the Issue Brief in Spanish (PDF) Contents Introduction & ...

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Healthier Schools & Latino Kids: Future Research



This is part of our Healthier Schools & Latino Kids: A Research Review » Future Research Needs To effectively address the issue of overweight and obesity among Latino children and adolescents, additional research is needed to better discern the impact of the school food environment on Latino weight status. Future studies should directly address the question of whether reducing access to competitive foods has long-term positive effects on BMI among Latino students. Additional studies should more firmly establish the contribution of competitive foods to Latino students’ food choices and consumption patterns, as well as the extent to which the surrounding food environment in Latino communities contributes to overall dietary habits of Latino children and ...

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