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Stressed Latino Parents More Likely to Raise Obese Children


By Carlos Valenzuela, Salud America! Social Media Coordinator

New research by the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York shows Latino parents who are stressed are twice as likely to have children with obesity.

“Obesity and chronic stress were both prevalent among this Latino population, with more than one-quarter (28%) of children ages 8-16 with obesity, and nearly one-third (29%) of their parents reporting high levels of stress,” said Dr. Carmen Isasi, lead researcher, in a press release. “This study is among the first of its kind to show that parental stress is a risk factor for childhood obesity among Latinos, and adds to the understanding of family influences on child weight status.”

Dr. Isasi and her team found the incidence of obesity in children increased with the number of parental stress factors, “from 20% among parents who experienced no stress to 34% among parents with three or more stress factors.”

“This research should encourage clinicians and healthcare practitioners to consider high stress levels as a warning sign for developing obesity not only in the adult patient, but also in the patient’s entire family,” said Margarita Teran-Garcia, MD, PhD, FTOS, At-Large Mexico Council member for The Obesity Society.

To learn more about Latino childhood obesity visit SaludAmerica!