Obese Hispanics in America

A recent article was published by Dr Glenn Flores on the amount of obese Hispanic children living in America. Healthfinder.gov then wrote an article about Flores’ article, quoting Flores as saying “Almost half of all Latino kids are either overweight or obese…It’s an important issue in terms of our future generations. If we intervene early enough, we won’t have obese adults.”

One thing I don’t like about Media articles is that we have no idea how Flores came to the conclusion that 50% of all Hispanic children are obese. That’s not to say that it’s not true, but Flores conducted a qualitative study on 19 people, so that statement (aka ‘fact’) isn’t supported by his current publication.

Assuming Flores’ contention that half of Latino kids are overweight or obese, he is absolutely wrong in stating that early intervention leads to the elimination of obese adults. Flores’ statement suggests that obese adults were also overweight or obese as children. Research (and anecdotal evidence) has shown that some people are skinny/fit in childhood, but develop into obese adults.

For example, Singh et al. (2008) outright stated in their literature review on overweight and obese children, “it must be considered that comparison of youth and adult prevalence rates of overweight indicates that the majority of overweight adults were not overweight during childhood.

When Flores sticks to the point of his article, we learn that Hispanic parents can help children lose weight by “encouragement, not making the child feel left out, the whole family eating healthy and the parent setting a good example.” Brilliant! Ground Breaking! Now let’s develop some interventions that are beneficial, since clearly Hispanic parents know what to do to provide their child with a healthy, they just aren’t doing it (according to Flores’ statements).

The only barrier stated in the article is that team sports are hard to come by in the inner city. I am sure there are many more barriers to providing your child with a healthy lifestyle. After all, not all Hispanic children become obese because it’s difficult to join a team sport.

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