Overweight and Obesity Among Latino Youths

A group of children eating lunch.

Latino children and adolescents are more likely to be overweight and obese than their White peers.

The Issue:

Because of the many barriers to healthy eating and active living, obesity and overweight rates among Latino, African American, and American Indian children, and adolescents, remain significantly high. Consequently, they are at a higher risk of developing serious, chronic illnesses.

This fact sheet examines overweight and obesity among Latino youth and adolescents.

Key Findings

  • Limited availability of healthy foods and safe recreational facilities contribute to unhealthy environments for Latino children and families.

  • Factors such as acculturation and unhealthy food and beverage marketing play a role in higher rates of overweight and obesity among Latino youths.

  • Latino children have a greater risk of developing diabetes compared to their White peers.

Conclusion:

Comprehensive solutions, which include increasing access to affordable healthy foods in communities and schools, limiting the marketing of unhealthy foods and beverages, addressing neighborhood safety, and improving the built environment, are necessary to prevent childhood obesity and safeguard the health of Latino children and adolescents.

About the Study:

This fact sheet is produced by Leadership for Healthy Communities: Advancing Policies to Support Healthy Eating and Active Living, a national program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.