Posts tagged Latino Childhood Obesity
The study by the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research examined survey data to examine kids’ dietary behaviors and the impact of parents on food choices.
The study found that:
- 60% of all kids between the ages of 2 and 5 had eaten fast food at least once in the previous week.
- 29% of all kids had eaten fast food two or more times in the previous week.
- Only 57% of parents reporting that their child ate at least five fruit and vegetable servings the previous day.
- Latino and Asian parents say they have less influence over what their child eats than other groups.
“A weekly happy meal is an unhappy solution, especially for toddlers,” said Susan Holtby, the study’s lead author and a senior researcher at the Public Health Institute. “Hard-working, busy parents need support to make healthy food selections for their kids.”
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.
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.
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.
Spanish-language fast-food advertising to Hispanic preschoolers increased by 16%, according to Fast Food FACTS 2013. The report, by the Yale Rudd Center for Food Policy & Obesity, examines the nutritional quality of fast food and how 18 top chain restaurants market their foods and drinks to kids.
In 2012 the fast food industry spent $4.6 billion to advertise mostly unhealthy products, and children and teens remained key audiences for that advertising.
The report highlights a few positive developments, such as healthier sides and drinks in most restaurants’ kids’ meals, but also shows that restaurants still have a long way to go to promote only healthier fast-food options to kids.
“There were some improvements, but they have been small, and the pace too slow,” said Marlene Schwartz, Rudd Center director. “Without more significant changes, we are unlikely to see meaningful reductions in unhealthy fast food consumption by young people.”
Key overall findings include:
- Children ages 6 to 11 saw 10% fewer TV ads for fast food, but children and teens continued to see three to five fast food ads on TV every day;
- Healthier kids’ meals were advertised by a few restaurants, but they represent only one-quarter of fast-food ads viewed by children; and
- Less than 1% of kids’ meals combinations at restaurants meet nutrition standards recommended by experts, and just 3% meet the industry’s own Children’s Food and Beverage Advertising Initiative and Kids LiveWell nutrition standards;
Among Latinos, kids are a particularly attractive target to food marketers because of their increasing population size, spending power and media exposure.
Digital marketers in particular are savvy about using music, Latino spokespeople and other means to link cultural values and beliefs with certain food brands and products—the new report shows that fast food marketing via mobile devices and social media has grown exponentially from 2010.
“The marketing of unhealthy food concerns the Latino community because nearly 40% of Latino youths are overweight or obese,” said Dr. Amelie G. Ramirez, director of Salud America!, a national Latino childhood obesity research network based at the Institute for Health Promotion Research at the UT Health Science Center at San Antonio. “Everyone wants their kids to live long and healthy lives, and we know that being overweight or obese children are at greater risk for serious health problems.”
View the full report here.
…research build a case for addressing Latino childhood obesity? (Pg 1)
…a Latina get more Latinos into national parks for culture, physical activity? (Pg 3)
…schools give kids healthier choices during and after class? (Pg 5)
Find out in the latest Salud America! E-newsletter.
Salud America! The RWJF Research Network to Prevent Obesity Among Latino Children is a national program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. The program aims to unite and increase the number of Latino stakeholders engaged in community change and research on environmental and policy solutions to the epidemic. The network is directed by the Institute for Health Promotion Research at The UT Health Science Center at San Antonio.
Don’t forget to share your “healthy change” stories with Salud America!, which can write up your story, possibly film it, and help you get a national audience for your work.
For more info, go here.
#FoodFri is a weekly tweetchat hosted by MomsRising on Twitter every Friday to provide a platform for our food policy partners and the larger food justice community to address food and beverages in schools, food marketing to children and other topics.
For instructions on how to join a #FoodFri tweetchat, go here.
For Salud America! research on sugary drinks and Latino kids, go here.
But there’s bad news, too.
There was an alarming 8% spike in sugary drink consumption among adolescents ages 12-17, and consumption also rose significantly among Latino and African American adolescents.
The study, Still Bubbling Over: California Adolescents Drinking More Soda and Other Sugar-Sweetened Beverages, provides a comprehensive look at youth (ages 2-17) consumption of sugary drinks, charting consumption patterns from 2005-2007 to 2011-2012. The study was produced collaboratively by the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research and the California Center for Public Health Advocacy (CCPHA).
Sugary drink consumption did decreased by 30% among kids ages 2-5 and 26% among kids ages 6-11 in California.
But among kids ages 12-17, 65% drink sugary beverages daily, an 8% climb since 2005-2007.
About 74% of African American and 73% of Latino adolescents drink at least one sugary drink each day, compared to 63% of Asians and 56% of whites.
Adolescents in all ethnic groups, except whites, consumed more sugary drinks in 2011-12 than in 2005-07.
The report ends with this recommendation: “With nearly 40 percent of California children overweight or obese, it is vital that parents, educators, health professionals, businesses and policymakers work together to identify and implement public policies and other programs and strategies to reduce sugary drink consumption and protect children, especially teens.”
Go here to read more.
Sugary drink consumption contributes to increased rates of obesity and diabetes, studies show.
Raising the price of sugary drinks could reduce consumption among Latino kids, and potentially improve weight outcomes, according to a new package of research materials produced jointly by Salud America! and Bridging the Gap, two national research programs funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF).
The new Sugary Drinks & Latino Kids research materials start with an in-depth review of the latest science on sugary drink consumption by Latino kids and how pricing strategies could influence such consumption. The materials also provide policy implications based on that research.
Data shows that Latino kids have increased consumption of sugary drinks from 1991 to 2008.
By age 2, 74 percent of Latino kids have had a sugary drink (vs. 45 percent of White kids).
By high school, 22 percent of Latino kids have three or more sugary drinks a day (vs. 16% of White kids).
Strategies to alter sugary drink prices—such as sugary drink taxes, exclusion of sugary drinks from food assistance programs, and subsidization of healthier beverages—have been suggested to reduce sugary drink consumption.
“One study found that higher sugary drink prices were linked to lower body weight in school children, with a greater impact on Latino kids,” said Amelie G. Ramirez, director of Salud America!, a national network of stakeholders seeking research and environmental solutions to Latino obesity, based at the Institute for Health Promotion Research at the UT Health Science Center at San Antonio.
While projections about the effects of such a tax vary, much research concludes that a tax higher than current sales tax rates would have some impact on consumption of sugary drinks.
For instance, one study found that a penny-per-ounce tax (i.e., about a 20 percent price increase if fully passed on to consumers) would decrease sugary drink consumption by up to 24 percent, which, researchers predict, would decrease obesity and diabetes rates.
“It is important for public health to limit the amount of added sugar consumed by Latino youths, given the impact of this added sugar on obesity, diabetes, liver disease, and cardiovascular disease now and into the future,” said Dr. Frank Chaloupka, distinguished professor of economics and public health at the University of Illinois at Chicago and project director for Bridging the Gap.
The new research package is the sixth of six new research material packages by Salud America!, each of which focused on a specific topic on Latino childhood obesity.
Download all the packages at www.salud-america.org.
Check out this cool new animated video on the science behind the consumption of sugary beverages among Latino kids.
The video, which is part of a new Salud America! “Sugary Drinks and Latino Kids” package of research, which also contains a research review, issue brief and infographic, can be found here.
Latino kids consume an above-average amount of sugary drinks (74% have had a sugary drink by age 2!).
Raising the price of sugary drinks could reduce consumption among Latino kids, and potentially improve weight outcomes, according to research.