Latino Church Leaders' Perspectives on Childhood Obesity Prevention

Church leaders express willingness to address obesity and promote health in their congregations.

This qualitative research study sought to understand community faith leaders’ perspectives on how to address ethnic and socioeconomic disparities in childhood obesity in their Texas community.

Through in-depth interviews, participants stated that factors contributing to childhood obesity include:

  • Poor eating behaviors and a Mexican-American diet high in fat and carbohydrates
  • Low socioeconomic status
  • Lack of health knowledge
  • Lack of parks and recreation opportunities

Participants thought a “health program” with education and hands-on healthy cooking lessons would be more effective than one offered and labeled as “obesity prevention.”