Study: Fewer Than Half of Latino Families Eat Meals Together Every Day


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Editor’s Note: This is a 20-part series featuring new research briefs on Latino childhood obesity, nutrition, physical activity and more by the 20 grantees of Salud America! Part 7 is Dr. Angela Wiley. Find all briefs here.

Dr. Angela Wiley

Dr. Angela Wiley
“Abriendo Caminos (Clearing the Path)”

In her Salud America! pilot research project, Dr. Angela Wiley of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign took a family-based approach—accounting for developmental patterns of behavior and practices in early mealtime experiences—to prevent childhood obesity and promote wellbeing among Spanish-speaking families in Illinois.

The 6-week curriculum actively involves Latino families in food preparation, shared physical activity, and shared mealtimes featuring family storytelling and scrapbooking.

Key preliminary findings include:

  • fewer than half of Latino families are eating meals together seven days a week;
  • Latino children are drinking roughly three fourths of a soda per day on average; and
  • fruit and vegetable consumption is well below daily recommended values.

The study found that, during the weekly workshops, family members enjoyed planning ways to improve their meal-time quality by increasing positive conversation and storytelling and reducing TV viewing. Policymakers can help protect family time for shared meals.

Also, while families recognized the need to control sugary beverages at home, policymakers should be aware that families want their children to have less access to soda outside the home.

Read more here.

Salud America! is an RWJF national program directed by the Institute for Health Promotion Research at The UT Health Science Center at San Antonio, the team behind SaludToday.

By The Numbers By The Numbers



of Latino kids have obesity (compared to 11.7% of white kids)

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