The Life Course Approach to Obesity: A Focus on Latino Youth


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Dr. Elsie Taveras
Dr. Elsie Taveras

Dr. Elsie M. Taveras, member of the advisory committee of Salud America! The RWJF Research Network to Prevent Obesity Among Latino Children, addresses Latino childhood obesity in an article in the journal Childhood Obesity.

Dr. Taveras mentions her research group at Harvard Medical School and their so-called “life course approach to obesity,” which has identified important factors for and disparities in obesity starting in pregnancy and through infancy, early childhood and adolescence.

“Latino children are also much less likely to be breast fed, and we know from some some studies that breastfeeding may be protective of overweight,” Dr. Taveras said in the article. “Additionally, Latino children are more likely to be introduced to solids early, they are more likely to drink sugar-sweetened beverages, more likely to have a television in their bedroom, more likely to watch more TV than white children, and more likely to get insufficient sleep.”

Dr. Taveras also told the journal she’d like to see future research focus “more on promoting sustainable changes at the community-level, in addition to the individual-level behavior change interventions we now know are effective.”

She also suggested several obesity prevention strategies for racial/ethnic minority families, including providers’ gaining a clear understanding of Latino cultural beliefs.

Find out more about Salud America! here.

By The Numbers By The Numbers



of Latinos remain without health insurance coverage

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