270058 Lessons from Latino Communities: Policy and Systems Change to Prevent Childhood Obesity

Tuesday, October 30, 2012 : 1:10 PM - 1:30 PM

George R. Flores, MD, MPH , Healthy California -- Prevention Program, The California Endowment, Oakland, CA
Method: We reviewed scientific literature and other available resources to identify conditions in the physical and social community environments experienced by Latino children that have bearing on development of childhood obesity. We searched for promising models from Latino communities working toward environments that support healthy nutrition and physical activity.

Results / findings: We provide both scientific evidence and real-life examples of environmental conditions that shape risks and opportunities for healthy nutrition and physical activity among children living in Latino communities. Descriptive and cross-sectional studies provide evidence that Latino children confront multiple inequitable conditions within the social and physical environments that surround them where they live, go to school, and play. Critical examination of the impact that adverse environments can have on health outcomes such as disproportionately high rates of obesity and overweight suggests that the long-term health and wellness of millions of Latino children is being compromised. Community-driven strategies pioneered in Latino communities are being found to improve opportunities for healthy nutrition and physical activity, but we also find intransigence in some sectors and countervailing economic pressures.

Conclusions: Community-driven measures to create equitable and health-supportive environments in Latino neighborhoods constitute a growing body of promising practices ripe for broad replication. Equitable environmental policy and systems changes have the potential to prevent obesity and its complications in Latino communities.

Learning Areas:
Advocacy for health and health education
Diversity and culture
Public health or related public policy

Learning Objectives:
1. Name three or more interventions to equitably improve nutrition and physical activity environments in Latino communities. 2. Identify one or more policy options that are uniquely contentious in Latino communities, and how some communities have reached resolution.

Keywords: Latinos, Prevention

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have over 30 years experience as a health professional in clinical, administrative, teaching, public health leadership, and grantmaker capacities. I have published articles and given numerous presentations on material related to this topic. I managed multi-site, multi-million dollar projects aimed at environmental approaches to prevent childhood obesity.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.