Caption:LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 20: A weary boy holds a campaign sign as Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama holds a town hall meeting before a racially diverse crowd at Garfield High School on October 20, 2007 on the east side of Los Angeles, California. East Los Angeles is an area rich in potential Latino votes. Latinos are the fastest growing voting population in the US and therefore, increasingly important to the presidential candidates. Hispanic voters could play crucial roles in several key states including California, Arizona, New Mexico, Nevada, Colorado, Florida, and Texas. (Photo by David McNew/Getty Images) (Photo : David McNew / Staff)
Obesity, malnutrition and health problems are rising among Latinos living in the US due to poverty.
Obesity is a serious medical condition caused by excessive lipids and fats. This condition is harmful to the health of an individual and may cause sickness and weakening of the heart. Medical conditions like diabetes and heart disease most likely occur if obesity is not taken care of. Exercise and proper diet is the cure for obesity.
America has one of the highest obesity rates. In the US, one out of three children and teens eat fast food daily. Up to 25-40 percent of their calories are obtained from eating fast food. About 11.5 percent of kids who eat fast food came from poverty and 13 percent came from the upper class. However, not only American kids in the US have alarmingly high obesity rate but also the Latino youth.
The ratio of obese Latino kids is very alarming. According to NBC, four out of ten Latino children ages 2 to 19 are either obese or overweight. Researchers from Salud America say that aside from consuming unhealthy food, the reason of obesity is that they lack recreational areas.
The Latino kids lack places to play and exercise. Due to the space shortage, the kids become less active. They don't have enough playgrounds to play at. They have less options for physical activity. They don't have enough public gyms to exercise in. They don't have fields to run on. They don't have safe places to bike and to walk. This contributes to the rapid increase of their weight.
According to Dr. Amelie G. Ramirez, director of Salud America, their recorded data show that there is an uncanny connection between obesity and accessibility to recreational areas. He stated that it is alarmingly important to make more parks and school playgounds and other recreational sites to help Latino kids be active and fight obesity. He said that Latino kids don't get enough exercise that's why many are obese and not healthy. He calls out to community leaders to build cycling lanes and safe jogging areas. Make the roads more pedestrian friendly so accidents wont happen. He also suggests schools to cooperate with the whole community to open their facilities and fields publicly to encourage more sports activities and exercise goups. He stated that leaders at all levels should work together to truly create neighborhoods where Latino families can easily, safely bike, walk, and much more.
The rate of Latino youth being obese is 29 percent less than non-Latino white children.