Salud America!, a national obesity prevention program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) based at The UT Health Science Center at San Antonio, has released a comprehensive collection of research briefs examining the obesity epidemic among Latino children and teens.
These briefs also provide policy recommendations, including:
Efforts to bring healthy foods into neighborhoods and schools should particularly focus on Latino communities, since they are disproportionately affected.
Policies that can help people be physically active in their neighborhoods should emphasize Latino populations because they are more likely to live in areas that do not support such activity.
Efforts to reduce exposure to unhealthy food and beverage marketing should consider that Latino youth are particularly targeted by advertisers.
Health programs and messages should be culturally sensitive, relevant for all populations and produced in both English and Spanish.
In addition to these three briefs, 20 pilot grantees funded by RWJF through Salud America! have produced briefs highlighting their own, new research.
These briefs analyze a wide range of issues, from the impact of menu labeling in small restaurants in south Los Angeles, to how after-school programs can help Latino youth be active, to how community gardens can help lower-income Latino families eat more fruits and vegetables.
“These briefs provide a snapshot of the state of the Latino childhood obesity epidemic and describe how leaders and policymakers can more effectively address it,” said Dr. Amelie G. Ramirez, director of Salud America!, a national network of researchers, community leaders and policymakers who are working together to increase the number of Latino scientists seeking environmental and policy solutions to address Latino childhood obesity.
Latinos are currently the most populous and fastest growing U.S. ethnic minority.
And according to recent estimates, nearly 40% of Latino children and teens are overweight and more than 20% are obese.
The SaludToday blog, part of www.SaludToday.com, is an interactive, online forum dedicated to stimulating an ongoing discussion among Latino families, community leaders, health researchers and all others who are interested in improving the health of Latinos across the U.S.