Highlighting the Link Between Lack of Access to Healthy, Affordable Food and Childhood Obesity

The National Council of La Raza, the nation’s largest Hispanic civil rights organization, created an advocacy campaign highlighting the link between lack of access to healthy, affordable food and childhood obesity and promoting government nutrition programs.

“Most of the time what is preventing Latino parents from feeding healthy foods to their families is a lack of resources of some kind—whether that be transportation or money or something else... People would talk about eating the fruits and vegetables at the beginning of the month when they had the access to SNAP and then they started buying the fattier foods or the things that would be considered less healthy when they ran out of SNAP,” says Jennifer Ng’andu, director of the health and civil rights policy project at the National Council of La Raza.

Dates of Project: December 2009 to December 2011

Description: In 2008, almost 27 percent of Latino households were food insecure, meaning that they did not have enough money to eat a healthy diet consistently. Research published in Pediatrics and elsewhere documents an association between food insecurity and obesity.

The National Council of La Raza created issue briefs analyzing trends among Latino children in hunger, nutrition, obesity, access to medical services, participation in government nutrition-assistance programs, and other issues.

They also collected stories for a story-bank campaign, “Comer Bien” (“Eating Well”), including video vignettes featuring Latino families talking about the struggles they must overcome to obtain healthy, affordable food.

The “Comer Bien” project was “an opportunity to personalize the experience and get at exactly what it means for Latinos to put healthy food on the table and use that to inform policy-makers.”— Jennifer Ng’andu

Series//Video Vignettes by the National Council of La Raza

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Video Vignettes by the National Council of La Raza

Video Vignettes by the National Council of La Raza

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Latino families eat healthier food when they have access to government nutrition-assistance programs.