Obesity prevalence rates are highest among children and adolescents of color. Latino children and adolescents are at greater risk of overweight and obesity in comparison to their white and African-American peers because of the many barriers that prevent access to healthy and affordable foods, and safe places for physical exercise
Food insecurity contributes to the onset of childhood obesity and among Latino children and youth that are obese or overweight; they are developing obesity-related diseases that are normally found in adults such as type-2 diabetes, hypertension and high blood pressure. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, treating children and adolescents for obesity-related diseases is estimated to be at $117 billion.
Poor diet and inactivity are contributing to sky-rocketing overweight and obesity rates across the United States. As these numbers rise, more people are facing an increased risk for obesity related diseases. Type 2 diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, stroke and some types of cancer have all been linked to overweight and obesity. According to the Centers for Disease Control, 65% of adult Hispanics are overweight or obese. Hispanics are also less likely to have adequate health insurance coverage than any other racial or ethnic group in the US. It is crucial for Hispanics to be educated on what it means to make healthy choices when it comes to the foods they are purchasing and eating, their engagement in physical activity, and the variables that affect their access to quality health care. According to the Trust for America’s Health the US is already spending more than $2 trillion on health care every year and 10% of these costs are obesity related. That is more than any other country. If more attention is not paid to the needs of Hispanics as the country’s fastest growing minority population, this figure will elevate even further.
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation estimates the cost of treatment of children and adolescents for obesity-related diseases to be at $117 billion annually. This is because the rates of childhood overweight and obesity have tripled since 1980.Currently, among Latino youth under the age of 18, the fastest growing demographic in the nation,40% are overweight or obese. As in adults, overweight and obesity lead to diseases such as type 2 diabetes, hypertension and heart disease. Once seen mostly among adults, these diseases are becoming disturbingly prevalent among children. The CDC estimates that for children born after the year 2000 1 in 3 will develop type 2 diabetes. For Hispanic children the figure is even more alarming. 50% of Hispanic children born after 2000 will likely develop type 2 diabetes.