Toddlers from low-income Hispanic, American Indian (AI), and Alaskan Native (AN) homes are at increased risk for obesity, according to a new study, Medscape reports.
The federal study, published in the journal Pediatrics, collected weight data for 1.2 million children at ages 0 to 23 months in 2008 and followed up with them within 24 to 35 months in 2010-11. In 2008, 13.3% of children were obese. In 2010-11, 36.5% of those children remained obese and 11% who were not obese at baseline became obese at follow-up.
The Medscape article also highlighted some striking disparities in children’s weight by race/ethnicity:
At baseline, obesity rates were higher among Hispanic and AI/AN toddlers, with 18.0% of AI/AN children obese at baseline compared with 15.3% of Hispanic children, 12.8% of non-Hispanic black children, 11.5% of white children, and 9.5 of Asian/Pacific Island children. In addition, Hispanic and AI/AN children were more likely to remain obese at follow-up at 40.3% and 44.4%,respectively, compared with 34.7% of whites, 33.2% of Asian/Pacific islanders, and 30.5% of non-Hispanic blacks.
AI/AN and Hispanic youngsters were more likely to become obese 24 to 35 months after initial examination. Some 15.4% of AI/AM children became obese at follow-up. Of Hispanic children, 13.6% became obese compared with 9.7% of white children, 9.0% of Asian/Pacific Island children, and 8.7% of black children.
“The needs of Hispanic and AI/AN young children should be considered when designing population-based strategies to support environmental and system change in communities and culturally appropriate interventions,” the the researchers stated in the study’s conclusion.
Eating healthy during the holidays is not impossible, according to MomsRising, which galvanizes women around different issues, including health.
MomsRising united several food bloggers last year for a blog carnival focused on holiday eating.
Several of the carnival’s posts have relevance this year, too, for Latino families:
- Savory Latino Meals without the Meat (in Spanish here), by Elisa Bastista
- In Food We Trust, by Antonio Diaz
- Quinoa Salad, by Vianney Rodriguez
- A Simple Chile de Arbol Salsa, by Nicole Presley
- Mango, Jicama, and Cucumber Salad, by Veronica Gonzalez-Smith
Check out all recent blog carnival posts from MomsRising here.
Hispanics suffer a heavier burden of health conditions like diabetes, uncontrolled blood pressure, and work-related deaths, according to a new federal report.
The Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report Supplement, released on Nov. 21 by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), highlights differences in mortality and disease risk for multiple conditions related to behaviors, access to health care, and social determinants of health—the conditions in which people are born, grow, live, age, and work.
The report highlights several Hispanic-oriented issues or conditions:
- Preventable hospitalization rates were highest for Hispanics and blacks.
- Diabetes rates were highest among Hispanics and blacks.
- Rates of uncontrolled blood pressure were highest among Mexican Americans.
- The prevalence of periodontitis, a gum infection, is highest among Mexican Americans than other racial/ethnic groups.
- Flu vaccine rates increased for Hispanics ages 65 and older.
- Minorities and Spanish speakers were more likely to live near major highways—suggesting an increased exposure to traffic-related air pollution.
- Work-related deaths are highest for Hispanics.
- The highest percentage of adults not completing high school were Hispanic.
- The highest percentage of adults living below the federal poverty level were black or Hispanic.
- Racial/ethnic minority areas more often lacked at least one healthier food retailer within a half-mile than white areas.
“It is clear that more needs to be done to address the gaps and to better assist Americans disproportionately impacted by the burden of poor health,” said Dr. Chesley Richards, director of CDC’s Office of Public Health Scientific Services, which produced the report. “We hope that this report will lead to interventions that will allow all Americans, particularly those most harmed by health inequalities, to live healthier and more productive lives.”
View the full report here.
To address this important public health issue, the National Cancer Institute developed http://espanol.smokefree.gov/, a website created specifically for Spanish speakers who want to quit smoking or know someone who does.
Resources include interactive checklists and quizzes, advice on how to help a loved one quit, and real-time support and information.
CPR training rates are lower in poor, rural, Hispanic and other minority-heavy U.S. regions, a new study shows, HealthDay reports.
Timely bystander CPR can boost the odds of survival for those who experience cardiac arrest outside of the hospital, but the new study, published in JAMA Internal Medicine, found exceedingly low CPR training rates in its examination of 13 million people in across 3,100 counties.
Specific findings included:
…fewer people are trained in CPR in the South, Midwest and West…counties with the lowest rates of CPR training—less than 1.3 percent of the population—were also more likely to have a greater proportion of rural areas, black and Hispanic residents, and a lower average household income.
These areas also had fewer doctors and, on average, older residents, according to a journal news release.
“With regard to rural areas, more studies are needed on interventions that target the entire chain of survival,” the study authors concluded.
Read more here.
Editor’s note: This editorial by Dr. Amelie G. Ramirez was part of a MomsRising blog carnival on Oct. 30, 2013.
Food marketing to kids is a huge piece of the U.S. obesity puzzle.
Latino kids are a prime target for food marketers, largely because of their large population numbers—they comprise 22% of all U.S. youth and will rise to 30% by 2025.
But there are other reasons they are such a target.
Latino kids have higher rates of exposure to media—TV, computers, video games, etc.—in a typical day than do their white peers, about 13 hours compared with 8.36 hours. And Latino teens have been called “superconsumers” of soda, candy, and snacks spending 4% more than non-Latino teens.
About 84% of kid-targeted food and drinks ads on Spanish-language TV promote foods in the lowest nutritional category, versus 74% on English channels, one study found. Another study found that Latino neighborhoods have nine times more outdoor ads for unhealthy foods and drinks than White neighborhoods.
How do marketers target Latino kids with food ads?
Marketers consider relevant ethnic-specific media channels, social institutions (i.e., churches) and shopping patterns.
They use Latino-relevant ethnic symbols, linguistic styles, music, athletes and celebrities to link cultural values with certain foods.
Spanish-language websites also target Latina moms, who they view as the decision-makers for food products bought for kids. Fast-food companies have developed ethnically targeted web content, such as McDonald’s MeEncanta.com.
What can be done to limit unhealthy marketing to Latino kids?
Food and beverage industry self-regulation of marketing to youths is mixed, and government regulation of food marketing to kids is limited.
Some efforts are going on. For example, the Walt Disney Company in 2012 announced a plan to phase junk food advertising out of its TV and radio programming targeted at kids.
Additional industry self-regulation and governmental regulation—stimulated by community awareness and action—can help limit the marketing of unhealthy foods and beverages to Latino children.
Local actions, according to one study, include:
- In food retail markets, limit amount of store window space dedicated to signs, and/or require “healthy check-out aisles.”
- In toy and sporting-goods stores where food isn’t the main product, prohibit food sales.
- In restaurants, enact local menu labeling laws and restrict placement of fast-food restaurants near schools or the density of fast food.
- In schools, can prohibit the sale and advertising of unhealthy foods on campus, including fundraisers.
- In communities, can tailor vending contracts to limit the sale and marketing of unhealthy foods at parks, pools, etc.
Marketers’ target has been set on Latino kids. Now it’s up to individuals and groups to make sure our children see healthy food options, rather than unhealthy ones.
Be sure to check out the research package on health marketing and Latino kids by Salud America! The RWJF Research Network to Prevent Obesity Among Latino Children. There you will find a fascinating animated video and colorful infographic that makes it easy to understand the issue and how it related to Latino kids.
Check out this excellent story by Eli Saslow of the Washington Post about how the food stamp diet is making people obese—but also leaving them hungry—in the largely Latino region of South Texas.
Here’s a little insight into the situation in Hidalgo County, Texas:
“El Futuro” is what some residents had begun calling the area, and here the future was unfolding in a cycle of cascading extremes:
Hidalgo County has one of the highest poverty rates in the nation . . . which has led almost 40 percent of residents to enroll in the food-stamp program . . . which means a widespread reliance on cheap, processed foods . . . which results in rates of diabetes and obesity that double the national average . . . which fuels the country’s highest per-capita spending on health care.
This is what El Futuro looks like in the Rio Grande Valley: The country’s hungriest region is also its most overweight, with 38.5 percent of the people obese. For one of the first times anywhere in the United States, children in South Texas have a projected life span that is a few years shorter than that of their parents.
It is a crisis at the heart of the Washington debate over food stamps, which now help support nearly 1 in 7 Americans. Has the massive growth of a government feeding program solved a problem, or created one? Is it enough for the government to help people buy food, or should it go further by also telling them what to eat?
Read more of this fantastic story and photos here.
Find the latest advances in Latino health—from a new support group for young cancer survivors to obesity prevention—in IHPR Noticias, the newsletter from the Institute for Health Promotion Research (IHPR) at The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, the team behind SaludToday.
IHPR Noticias has these stories and more:
- Story: “Breast Friends Forever” Support Group for Young Cancer Survivors in San Antonio (Pg 1)
- Profile: Inspired by Grandparents…The Story of the IHPR’s Rosalie Aguilar (Pg 2)
- Study: Obesity, Diabetes Biggest South Texas Health Threats (Pg 3)
- Video: Dr. Amelie Ramirez on the Future of Latino Health Care (Pg 4)
- Study: Síclovía Events Encourage Healthy Behaviors (Pg 6)
- Study: Racial/Ethnic Disparities Remain in Breast Cancer Rates (Pg 7)
- Resource: MiPlato Food Prep Tips, Recipes, Coloring Pages (Pg 9)
IHPR Noticias is jam-packed with even more info on the latest local and national health disparities-related news, resources and events.
Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have story ideas.
Amy Cleveland, fresh out of college and just starting a career in marketing, discovered a coarse lump in her breast while putting on some tanning oil.
Only age 22, she was diagnosed with breast cancer.
“It was a struggle for me because I was young and there was no one my own age I could relate to or confide in about having cancer. People always say, ‘My mom had that,’ or, ‘My grandma had that.’ But it’s tough for young people,” Cleveland said.
Fortunately, Cleveland—now age 28 and free of cancer—found some “Breast Friends Forever,” thanks to a unique support group for young breast cancer survivors developed by the Institute for Health Promotion Research (IHPR) at the UT Health Science Center at San Antonio and Susan G. Komen San Antonio.
The BFF support group meets bimonthly to help young survivors bond with each other, get emotional support, and learn more about breast health from expert speakers.
“We want young survivors to build positive relationships with other survivors their age in a fun and educational setting, to improve their quality of life during and after breast cancer,” said Sandra San Miguel de Majors, a research instructor at the IHPR. “The BFF group is much-needed because breast cancer rates are rising about 2% a year in women ages 20-39.”
Breast cancer in younger women often is more aggressive with lower survival rates.
The estimated 250,000 U.S. breast cancer survivors diagnosed at age 39 or younger also face different challenges—such as dating and body image issues and starting a career and/or family and having to deal with chemotherapy treatment—than women diagnosed after 40.
San Miguel de Majors said young survivors often have few people to lean on.
“Through our research and outreach work I realized there are no support groups specifically for young breast cancer survivors. I thought, ‘Why not start one?’” said Sandra San Miguel de Majors, who oversees outreach for Redes En Acción, the IHPR’s national Latino cancer research network funded by the National Cancer Institute, and also sits on the board of directors for Komen San Antonio.
A few months ago, San Miguel de Majors brought her idea for a young survivors’ support group to Elyse Alaniz, mission director for Komen San Antonio. They recruited three young survivors—Cleveland, Brenda Garza, and Tanya Del Valle—and formed a planning committee.
They wanted to invite young survivors to meet periodically to share their cancer experiences, bond emotionally, and learn from each other.
But they wanted to offer more than just peer support.
“The element of practical support often is overlooked. At each BFF meeting, we bring in a medical expert to teach survivors about healthy lifestyles, or schedule community service projects,” Alaniz said. “We want to do even more, too, like conduct a healthy cooking demonstration or organize a group exercise session.”
At the first BFF meeting in June 2013, several survivors traded stories, laughed, and enjoyed food at Rosario’s Mexican Cafe y Cantina. At the second meeting in August, 15 survivors learned some nutrition and exercise tips from local oncologist.
Now more than 20 survivors regularly attend BFF meetings.
The BFF group now is reaching out to more young survivors through a web page and Facebook group page, while also giving back: On Oct. 30, 2013, the group will meet at a local eatery to increase cancer awareness, raise funds for underserved women and support one another.
“We really want to take a comprehensive approach to help young survivors in every way possible,” San Miguel de Majors said.
Dr. Amelie G. Ramirez, who directs the IHPR and the Redes network and sits on Komen’s national scientific advisory board, is excited about the group’s potential.
“It is fantastic to see this group taking many angles to address the gap that exists for support for young cancer survivors, especially Latina survivors,” Ramirez said. “I’m proud of Sandra for taking the initiative to find another way to help cancer patients.”
Cleveland is glad young survivors have a place to go where they can feel comfortable.
“I’m always telling my friends about this group, and that, while cancer can strike at a young age, you’re not the only one,” she said. “There is a group out with women in it who have been through what you’re going through, and can help.”
The videos, which are also available in English, explore the latest research into how six critical topics—marketing, school snacks, sugary drinks, neighborhood food environments, active play and access to active spaces—impact Latino child health.
The videos also feature evidence-based recommendations on how to address the problem.
The child-narrated videos are part of a six new packages of research materials produced by Salud America!, a national research network on Latino childhood obesity that is funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) and based at the Institute for Health Promotion Research (IHPR) at the UT Health Science Center at San Antonio.
Each topic’s package contains: a research review, an assessment of all available scientific evidence on the topic; an issue brief, a short summary of the research review; an animated video narrated by Latino children; and an infographic, a visual summary of the topic.
Materials are available for download here.