Childhood Obesity in Latino Children: A Socioecological View

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Understanding Factors Behind Latino Childhood Obesity

Kornides’s article, Factors Associated with Obesity in Latin Children: A Review of the Literature, was an article addressing the issue of the rise in obesity of Latino children in America. The author referred to several possible causes of Latino childhood obesity; Diet, activity, genetics, environment, and acculturation. These five contributions to obesity can be compared to other ethnicities and cultures with differing conclusions. Kornides used 24 research articles drawn together to complete his study. Some articles were more creditable than others but came to the same results.

Childhood weight gain is directly correlated to decreased activity, increased calorie intake, and deficient knowledge. It was found that parental support in physical activity was less in children with obesity than in normal-weight children (Kornides, 2011). Mirza’s study found that obese Hispanic children were less likely to meet physical requirements than obese white children (2004). Digital distractions in the home are also a rising concern because it is taking the children away from staying active. Many children have access to video games, TV shows, and other electronic devices that promote a sedentary lifestyle.

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Diet is a major contributor that can be modified to fix the issue. It was found that children who drink low-fat milk have a higher BMI than children who would drink whole milk. Those of Mexican descent eat more low-density foods than other ethnicities, so they do not receive the proper nutrition. Hispanic mothers used ice cream, sweets, and fruit as a method of bribes as positive reinforcement, says Sherry (Kornides, 2011). This is counter-interactive because they are saying that if they do something, then they are allowed to eat more junk food.

Genetics found that child obesity can be correlated to the parents if the parents also suffer from obesity themselves or have other family members that are obese. Environmental category can be related to the education level of the parents, it has been shown to negatively affect a child’s BMI. Many children suffering from obesity come from deficient knowledge of the parents and family members on proper food intake. Acculturation found that children with obesity are normally born within the united states. Those who immigrate to the united states have no or limited correlation with acculturation and obesity (Kornides, 2011).

The Socioecological Model

In the world of public health, there is a concept called the socioecological model. This model has five tiers; the individual level, interpersonal level, community level, organizational level, and structural level. Each level contributes to how public health is perceived and treated in society. The levels work together to satisfy the public needs of individuals, communities, countries and worldwide. The model shows how one of these levels can significantly affect the others. By working together to protect as small as the individual level to something as large as societal.


1.Kornides, M. L. (2011). Factors Associated with Obesity in Latin Children: A Review of the Literature. Journal of Obesity, 2011, Article ID 619414. doi:10.1155/2011/619414

2.Mirza, N. M., Palmer, M. G., & Sinclair, K. B. (2004). Energy expenditure and physical activity of obese children. Public Health, 118(5), 363-370. doi:10.1016/j.puhe.2003.10.008

3.Sherry, B., McDivitt, J., Birch, L. L., Cook, F. H., Sanders, S., Prish, J. L., & Francis, L. A. (2004). Attitudes, practices, and concerns about child feeding and child weight status among socioeconomically diverse white, Hispanic, and African-American mothers. Journal of the American Dietetic Association, 104(2), 215-221. doi:10.1016/j.jada.2003.11.006

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Childhood Obesity in Latino Children: A Socioecological View. (2023, Aug 18). Retrieved from

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