New Program Brief Encourages Trail Use for Latino and Black Youth

Taking a walk or hike can be a great way to get outside and get in some physical activity.

But what if your community doesn’t have access to hiking trails?

The National Collaborative on Childhood Obesity Research (NCCOR) created a resource that identifies hiking and walking programs that encourage youth from underserved communities to get outside and hit the trails.

The program brief looks specifically at Latino and Black youth, because they are more likely to experience health disparities related to lack of physical activity and are at risk for health complications later in life.

What’s in the Program Brief?

NCCOR identifies nine programs that successfully reach diverse groups and produce positive health outcomes.

The programs meet the following criteria: highlighted on the internet or in government reports or conferences, ongoing and U.S. based, focused on youth younger than 18 from diverse racial/ethnic groups and/or of low-income status, includes pedestrian or bicycle trail use, show evidence of their effectiveness, and include data on health-related outcomes.

The nine programs are the following:

NCCOR chose these nine programs because of their extensive reach and scalability in the U.S., their focus on serving marginalized groups, and the data they’ve collected from participants citing a positive impact.

The coalition hopes that these programs and data collected can serve as a resource for future programs focused on access to trails and outdoor spaces. This program brief emphasizes access to trails because it can help promote physical activity.

“Research suggests access to recreational trails and transportation systems (pedestrian, bicycling, and public transit) combined with physical activity-friendly destinations can increase physical activity participation, however a vastly understudied area is the impact of trails on the physical activity behaviors of youth from under-resourced communities,” according to the NCCOR program brief.

How Are Latinos Affected?

Increasing access to outdoor spaces like hiking trails and promoting physical activity is important for everyone, but especially for Latino children who are at high risk for developing obesity, diabetes, and other conditions.

According to RWJF’s 2019 State of Childhood Obesity report:

  • Overall, Latino children ages 2-19 had the highest obesity rates (25.8%) among all racial/ethnic groups.
  • Latino children ages 2-4 in the WIC program had higher obesity (16.4%) than all groups, except American Indian/Alaska Natives (18.5%).
  • Latino children in high school tied with Black children for the highest obesity rates among groups (18.2%).

Children with obesity are at greater risk of developing serious conditions, like type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and cardiovascular disease. Obesity also increases the risk of developing a severe case of COVID-19.

This is why NCCOR wanted to focus on providing access to Latino and Black children.

“Children who are from under-resourced communities and diverse racial, ethnic, and cultural backgrounds are less likely to meet the minimal national standards for physical activity and more likely to suffer from negative health effects related to a lack of physical activity. Because of the personal, social, and built-environment limitations on under-resourced communities, African American and Hispanic youth have substantially higher levels of overweight and obesity compared to their Caucasian counterparts, placing racial/ethnic minority populations at a greater risk of health complications later in life,” according to the NCCOR program brief.

With more hiking programs like the ones NCCOR has highlighted, we can help fight health disparities and bring equity to outdoor spaces.

How Else Can We Help?

Getting kids from underserved communities outside and on hiking trails is important.

But many barriers continue to affect the health of Latinos and other people of color.

Has your city identified racism as a public health crisis?

Systemic racism makes it harder for Latinos and other people of color to get healthcare, housing, transportation, education, employment, and more, which has been exacerbated by the COVID-19.

Our team at Salud America! built an Action Pack, “Get Your City to Declare Racism a Public Health Crisis Action Pack” to help anyone get input from local social justice groups and advocates of color, and start a conversation with city leaders for a resolution to declare racism a public health issue along with a commitment to take action to change policies and practices. It will also help build local support.

GET THE ACTION PACK!

The post New Program Brief Encourages Trail Use for Latino and Black Youth appeared first on Salud America.

Recommend0 recommendationsPublished in Fuerza por la Salud

Related Articles

Report: Access to Nature Improves Health Outcomes

After spending most of the last year indoors, Latinos and all Americans are ready to experience the world around us, again — including spending much-needed time outdoors. Not only is the prospect of walking on trails, hiking, camping, and other recreational activities exciting, it will lead to better health outcomes. People’s access to places such …
The post Report: Access to Nature Improves Health Outcomes appeared first on Salud America.

Report: Latino Young Adults Distrust the Tobacco, Vaping Industry

In the fight to end smoking, mass media efforts to change social norms have led to historic declines in smoking. But the tobacco industry isn’t giving up. These companies aggressively market flashy, new electronic and flavored products in hopes of growing the market among youth and young adults. Still, these individuals are not so easily …
The post Report: Latino Young Adults Distrust the Tobacco, Vaping Industry appeared first on Salud America.

4 Reasons to Think Structuralist, Instead of Individualistic, to Improve Health Equity

Every person is a unique individual. But if you look closely, you’ll see each person lives, learns, works, and plays within social and environmental conditions that influence their individual health and wealth. Some people face health barriers because of structural and systemic policies that curb their access to quality housing, transportation, medical care, food, jobs, …
The post 4 Reasons to Think Structuralist, Instead of Individualistic, to Improve Health Equity appeared first on Salud America.

Research: In Rural Areas, Latinos Face Poverty and Other Inequities

This is part of the Salud America! Achieving a Cohesive Culture for Health Equity in Latino and All Communities: A Research Review» Disparities in Poverty Exist across Geography Disparities in poverty rates also exist across geography: child poverty rates are highest in rural counties, at 23.2%, compared to large urban metro areas (21.2%), smaller metro …
The post Research: In Rural Areas, Latinos Face Poverty and Other Inequities appeared first on Salud America.

Parks Are Smaller, Hotter, More Crowded Where People of Color Live

Amid the surging COVID-19 pandemic and one of the hottest summers in world history, public parks are a refuge. But not all parks are created equitably. Parks that serve primarily Latinos and others of color are half the size of parks that serve majority White populations. They are also five times more crowded, with hotter …
The post Parks Are Smaller, Hotter, More Crowded Where People of Color Live appeared first on Salud America.

Responses