Study: Latino Children Face Many Barriers to Healthy Eating, Physical Activity


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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 14 is Dr. Myriam Torres. Find all briefs here.

Dr. Myriam Torres

Dr. Myriam Torres
“Voices of Latina Mothers and School Staff on Childhood Obesity”

In her Salud America! pilot research project, Dr. Myriam Torres of the University of South Carolina brought together public health researchers, community leaders and Latino families to study and develop effective policy recommendations regarding physical activity among Latino children from a growing immigrant settlement in West Columbia, S.C.

Key preliminary findings include:

  • main barriers to healthy eating and physical activity among Latino children include lack of infrastructure that supports walking and biking and unhealthy school lunches; and
  • community stakeholders and school staff agreed that lack of transportation, Spanish-speaking parents and the cost of out-of-school sports were the main barriers that keep Latino children from participating in organized sports.

The study suggests that Latina mothers understand the variety of factors that impact their children’s diets and levels of physical activity. These barriers demonstrate the need to develop policies that support healthy changes in our environments and schools.

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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