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Obesity in Adolescence in the Hispanic Community

Adolescent obesity poses serious health problems to Hispanic communities, health service provision, and nursing practice. Therefore, adolescents considered to be obese have surpassed being overweight and have increased risks of succumbing to chronic health conditions. Additionally, any health issues that begin in childhood and continue through adolescence can be serious threats when in adulthood. The implications of adolescent obesity do not only affect children in terms of possible chronic conditions but cause adolescents to experience psychological problems such as depression, anxiety, and social issues such as bullying (Sadeghi, Kaiser, Hanbury, Tseregounis, Shaikh, Gomez-Camacho & De La Torre, 2019). The health risks linked to adolescent obesity range from diabetes, heart problems, sleep disorders, asthma, and joint pain.

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The basic principles or tools for a resource management plan

Hispanic communities are especially vulnerable as, according to the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), 30.6% of Mexican-American adolescents aged 12-19 are obese (Ogden, Fryar, Martin, Freedman, Carroll, Gu & Hales, 2020). The major tools and principles of reducing this index are addressing its causes and promoting healthy behaviors such as healthy diets and physical exercise. Therefore, interventions should be based on long-term cooperation and partnership with a local hospital or organization that facilitates the obesity reduction program.

Cultural facilitators addressing the goal and implementing the intervention

Many adolescents have private insurance via family plans provided by their parents’ employers. They normally access their primary care from private providers, generally a nurse practitioner, general internist, family physician, pediatrician, or gynecologist for older female adolescents. The Private Office-Based Care (POBC) services often cover the following: well-care visits or health maintenance, diagnostic tests (for instance, blood pressure, weight, and height), hearing and vision screening, and consultation on health promotion or concerns (Wilmoth, Pan, Correa, Martinez, Mendoza, Sosa & He, 2018).

Three challenges related to cultural differences or the public health issue

However, not all Mexican-Americans have access to POBC due to a lack of insurance. This poses one of the main challenges to successful interventions as, without insurance, parents may struggle to financially afford the intervention (Tamayo, Dobbs & Pincu, 2021). Lack of resources and access to healthy food is also a challenge as adolescents’ nutrition depends on the schedule and financial well-being of their parents, which is often lacking. Hence, obesity reduction programs should focus on creating interventions that fit the environment of Hispanic obese adolescents. Finally, studies have shown that an increase in the testosterone level during adolescence may cause the swelling of the amygdala, a region of the brain that is very important in the regulation of emotions (Sadeghi, Kaiser, Hanbury, Tseregounis, Shaikh, Gomez-Camacho & De La Torre, 2019). Hence, this can pose a third challenge in implementing a long-term intervention among adolescents. However, with a better understanding of this stage, health care professionals can be in a position to help teenagers identify both the symptoms and triggers of out-of-control emotions and apply reasoning skills to step back, examine their emotions, and then contemplate the long-term consequences of their conduct.


Ogden, C. L., Fryar, C. D., Martin, C. B., Freedman, D. S., Carroll, M. D., Gu, Q., & Hales, C. M. (2020). Trends in obesity prevalence by race and hispanic origin—1999-2000 to 2017-2018. Jama, 324(12), 1208-1210.

Sadeghi, B., Kaiser, L. L., Hanbury, M. M., Tseregounis, I. E., Shaikh, U., Gomez-Camacho, R.,… & De La Torre, A. (2019). A three-year multifaceted intervention to prevent obesity in children of Mexican-heritage. BMC public health, 19(1), 1-12.

Tamayo, M. C., Dobbs, P. D., & Pincu, Y. (2021). Family-centered interventions for treatment and prevention of childhood obesity in Hispanic families: a systematic review. Journal of Community Health, 46(3), 635-643.

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Wilmoth, S., Pan, M., Correa, L., Martinez, E., Mendoza, R., Sosa, E.,… & He, M. (2018). A summer obesity prevention program for Hispanic kids and families through vacation bible school: a pilot study. J Child Obes, 3(1).

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