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Health Promotion in Latinos

  • By: Dorothy Pekmezi, Becky Marquez & Joshua Marcus-Blank
  • In: Encyclopedia of Lifestyle Medicine & Health
  • Edited by: James M. Rippe
  • Subject:Health Psychology / Behavioral Medicine, Public Health Education & Health Promotion, Health Psychology

Latinos are now the largest ethnic minority group in the United States, with more than 45 million documented individuals, representing 15% of the U.S. population. Unfortunately, Latinos are also disproportionately affected by obesity and related chronic diseases, such as type 2 diabetes. Diet and exercise practices may contribute to these disparities in health. The prevalence of eating fruits and vegetables 5 or more times a day and engaging in regular physical activity is significantly lower for Hispanics (14.8%) than for non-Hispanic whites (17.4%). Many intervention studies have attempted to address this public health concern by promoting activity and a healthy diet among Latinos. Overall, findings suggest that Latinos are responsive to interventions promoting physical activity and healthy diet, despite facing numerous barriers to health promotion. ...

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