Food Retail and Financing Initiatives to Address Obesity in Latino Communities

Latino families often lack access to healthy affordable foods because Latino neighborhoods tend to have more corner stores (like bodegas), fast-food restaurants, and mobile snack food vendors, but fewer grocery stores and farmers’ markets. Healthy food financing initiatives that introduce supermarkets or farmers’ markets in Latino communities, expand healthy food offerings in places like bodegas, or reduce costs of healthy foods for underserved consumers, can improve Latino families’ access to and purchase of healthier foods, contributing to healthier diets and improved youth body weight outcomes.

This research review and issue brief by Salud America! The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) Research Network to Prevent Obesity Among Latino Children examines the relevant evidence regarding improving access to healthy foods in Latino communities.

Key Findings:

  • Latino communities often have less access to healthy affordable foods.
  • Access to supermarkets in Latino communities is linked to lower obesity rates.
  • Food retail and financing initiatives improve access to and sales of healthy foods in Latino communities and increase communities’ economic vitality.
  • Incentives for retailers and consumers can increase consumption of and availability of healthy food by participants in federal food assistance programs.

Salud America! is a national online network of researchers, community group leaders, decision-makers, and members of the public working together to support healthy policy and environmental changes that can help reverse the Latino childhood obesity epidemic.