Obesity Issues in Hispanic Population Group

Population and Health Disparity

  • Over 4.3 million Hispanics live in Florida.
  • Obesity is prevalent among Hispanics, especially those coming from Mexico (“Current status,” 2018).
  • Obesity occurs in Hispanics more often than in Whites.
  • Obesity is one of the enduring health problems in US healthcare
  • Obesity leads to heart diseases, loss of mobility, and diabetes.
  • In Hispanics, obesity is more prevalent among women.
  • Childhood obesity is likely to follow into adulthood (“Current status,” 2018).

Brief History of the Medical Condition in Hispanics

  • Mexico is among the top three countries for high obesity rates.
  • Obesity in Hispanics is related to generational poverty.
  • Health education in Mexico and other Hispanic countries is lacking.
  • Cultural and language barriers are an issue.
  • Hispanic cuisine is predisposed towards high-calorie foods.
  • Obesity has been historically prevalent in the Hispanic population.
  • Migrants and 1st-generation Mexican-Americans are especially vulnerable to obesity (“Current status,” 2018).

Literature Review

  • Liu, Hannon, Qi, Downs, and Marrero (2015) conducted a study on obesity in Latino children.
  • Discoveries: Obesity prevalent in children regardless of sex and insurance status.
  • Interventions may need to be directed at families.
  • Isasi et al. (2015) analyzed the impact of acculturation on obesity rates in Hispanics.
  • Research finds that prolonged exposure to the environment, rather than acculturation, leads to obesity.
  • Kaiser et al. (2015) analyzed food patterns in young Latino children.
  • Fast foods and irregular food patterns correlate with obesity.

Statistical Information and Comparisons

  • The current adult obesity rate in Florida – 27.4%
  • 26.8% of obese people in Florida are Hispanics.
  • Obesity-related health issues (diabetes, hypertension) are rising.
  • Hispanics are more likely to have obesity than whites (26.8% vs. 25.7%).
  • Hispanics are less likely to have obesity than blacks (26.8% vs. 35.2%).
  • Child obesity in Hispanics is at 12.4%.
  • 60% of obese Hispanic people in Florida are aged between 26 and 64 (“The state of obesity, “2016).

Evidence-Based Cultural Values, Characteristics, and Communication

  • Cultural values: kindness, relationship, respect, modesty.
  • Have disproportionally high rates of obesity and diabetes.
  • Prefer alternative therapies and traditional or herbal remedies.
  • Health beliefs are determined by education, socioeconomic status, and acculturation.
  • Barriers: Language, lack of insurance, distrust, immigrant status.
  • Obesity may be associated with stress from living and working in the USA.
  • Culturally competent interventions are necessary to improve patient outcomes (Juckett, 2013).

Health Disparities in Hispanic Population

  • Higher rates of obesity when compared to the non-Hispanic White population.
  • 51% more likely to die from diabetes
  • Higher chances of developing cancer.
  • High levels of depression and stress coupled with inaccessibility to mental care.
  • Less access to quality dental care.
  • Higher prevalence of asthma
  • Higher chances of experiencing an adverse medical event during treatment (“Current status,” 2018).

Reasons for Health Disparities

  • Lack of proper access to medical insurance.
  • Cultural nuances and specifics of national cuisine.
  • Socio-economic factors.
  • Generational poverty and poor neighborhoods.
  • Higher rates of criminal activity.
  • Stress associated with legal status in the country.
  • Educational inequality and language barriers (Juckett, 2013).

Culturally Competent Health Promotion Activities

  • Specialized community education based on Hispanic cultural values.
  • Pamphlets and leaflets about obesity written in Spanish.
  • A balanced diet based on certain dishes from national cuisine.
  • Bilingual communication during medical treatment.
  • Using Hispanic nurses to establish trust.
  • Introducing bilingual community workers to promote a healthy way of life.
  • Internet-based health resources must be in English and Spanish (Juckett, 2013).

Health Literacy in Hispanics

  • Health literacy in Hispanic populations is low.
  • Education inequalities result in reduced health literacy.
  • Hispanic patients face discrimination in the US medical system.
  • Lack of health literacy in adjacent Hispanic countries.
  • The majority of health information sites are English-only.
  • Lack of community-based health literacy interventions.
  • Inability to fluently communicate with doctors in Spanish (Isasi et al., 2015).

Political Means of Advocacy

  • Nursing associations may provide support.
  • Local legislators may be involved in health promotion.
  • Advocacy for the overall reduction of obesity (includes Hispanics).
  • Support from international organizations (Red Cross, USAID, etc.).
  • Mobilization of Hispanic voters.
  • Seeking favor with major political parties.
  • Small-scale advocacy efforts through interaction.


Current status. (2018). Web.

Isasi, C. R., Ayala, G. X., Sotres-Alvarez, D., Madanat, H., Penedo, F., Loria, C. M., … Schneiderman, N. (2015). Is acculturation related to obesity in Hispanic/Latino adults? Results from the Hispanic community health study/study of Latinos. Journal of Obesity, 2015, 1-8.

Juckett, G. (2013). Caring for Latino patients. American Family Physician, 87(1), 48-54.

Kaiser, L. L., Aguilera, A. L., Horowitz, M., Lamp, C., Johns, M., Gomez-Camacho, R., … de la Torre, A. (2015). Correlates of food patterns in young Latino children at high risk of obesity. Public Health Nutrition, 18(16), 2042-3050.

Liu, G. C., Hannon, T., Qi, R., Downs, S. M., & Marrero, D. G. (2015). The obesity epidemic in children: Latino children are disproportionately affected at younger ages. International Journal of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, 2(1), 12-18.

The state of obesity in Florida. (2016). Web.

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