Latino youth are more likely to be overweight or obese than their White peers; 38 percent of Latino youth ages 2-19 in the U.S. are overweight and almost 21 percent are obese.
A number of complex factors contribute to the higher rates of overweight and obesity among this population, including environmental, socioeconomic and cultural factors. Convenience stores and fast-food restaurants in Latino communities provide easy access to unhealthy food and beverage choices and healthy options are not always available. This imbalance is further driven by the fact that calories tend to be cheaper in unhealthy foods than in healthy ones, low rates of physical activity also contribute to this imbalance.
This research examines the environmental, socioeconomic and cultural factors that influence nutrition, overweight and obesity among Latino youth.
These researchers suggest several areas for future research to identify links between nutrition, physical activity, overweight and obesity among Latino youth. These include the influence of genes; metabolism; socioeconomic status; behaviors; the social and cultural environments; and government policies affecting the price and availability of foods.