Combating Childhood Obesity in the Hispanic Community — One Family At a Time

In recognition of Childhood Obesity Awareness Month, BeSmartBeWell.com shares the story of one Latino family that’s tackling childhood obesity with healthier choices.

Childhood obesity is a nationwide epidemic, but the Hispanic community is particularly affected. Children of Hispanic descent are significantly more likely to be overweight and obese than non-Hispanic Caucasian kids, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

For 11-year-old Alejandra and her parents, food was an expression of love. But overeating and other unhealthy habits led this young girl to become overweight. Today, Alejandra knows that you can eat right and still eat well. At BeSmartBeWell.com , Alejandra and her parents show how they’ve changed their ways without sacrificing their culture or love of food.

Hispanic children at greatest risk

Approximately 17 percent of U.S. kids and teens are obese, but a study published last year in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that nearly 30 percent of Hispanic preschoolers are overweight or obese.  By school age, more than 40 percent of Hispanic children are overweight or obese.

This is a very serious problem because overweight children are more likely to develop health problems as children and adults.  Their school performance may also be affected.  Studies show that obese and overweight children have less energy and more trouble focusing in school.

Where can I learn more?

With small changes in diet and exercise, kids can make big changes in their lives and their weight. BeSmartBeWell.com/Childhood-Obesity is a website that features video interviews with leading experts and profiles of real kids who, like Alejandra, have taken practical steps to combat childhood obesity.

Produced by the country’s largest customer-owned health insurer in collaboration with medical experts and national health organizations, BeSmartBeWell.com is a non-commercial informational resource available to the public.

At BeSmartBeWell.com, people will find:

  • Life stories
  • Expert Q&As
  • Credible resources and links
  • Health news
  • Links to health tools
  • In-depth articles

Consumers can also register for the monthly Spotlight Newsletter and News Alerts.

For information about other family-focused health topics—childhood asthma, drug safety and teen dating violence–and to see more life stories, visit BeSmartBeWell.com.