More than 38 percent of Latino youth ages 2-19 in the United States are overweight and almost 21 percent are obese, placing them at higher risk for developing both health and psychological problems.
Environmental, social and cultural factors have been found to contribute to the higher rates of overweight and obesity among this population. Food marketing also plays a significant role in influencing the health behaviors of Latino youth.
This research brief explores the relationships between media marketing and the health behaviors of Latino youth, particularly as these behaviors pertain to overweight and obesity.
Future research is needed to address the influence of marketing practices targeted to Latino youth. These studies should include: effects of unhealthy food and beverage outlets within Latino communities on consumption behaviors; effects of food marketing to Latino youth; effectiveness of media campaigns focused on healthy eating and physical activity; and the usefulness of various forms of media, i.e., video games, text messaging and Internet advertisements, to promote healthy behaviors among Latino youth.