Positioning Latino Childhood Obesity as a Civil Rights Equity Issue

Advocating systemic changes in the ways in which childhood obesity is addressed in Latino communities

    • November 18, 2013

The Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund positioned Latino childhood obesity as a civil rights equity issue: equitable access to resources and support for maintaining a healthy and active lifestyle in the Latino community.

It educated policy-makers and community members about the effects of childhood obesity on Latino children and about federal and state policy options to address the epidemic.

Dates of Project: December 2009 through June 2012

Description: Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund focused on state policy in California, Texas, and Illinois, which have the highest concentrations of Latinos. The project team collaborated with other advocacy organizations, conducted research on preventing childhood obesity, met and worked with state and federal policy-makers, and developed webinars and white papers.

Key Results

  • The project team analyzed federal, state, and local legislation related to preventing childhood obesity in the Latino community and met and worked with policy-makers, for example, doing legislative briefings in California, co-sponsoring the Latino Childhood Obesity Summit in San Antonio, and advising the U.S. Department of Agriculture about ways to improve Latino families’ access to and participation in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.

  • The project team produced four webinars on preventing childhood obesity in the Latino community. Nearly 1,000 people registered for the webinars, which are now available online.

  • The project team produced three draft white papers related to preventing childhood obesity among Latino children.