Hispanic Parents Seek Afterschool Programs Offering Healthy Eating, Physical Activity for Kids: Report
Approximately 3.8 million Hispanic children participate in afterschool programs, and 66 percent of those parents believe that afterschool programs should emphasize the importance of healthy eating and physical activity when engaging their young children, according to a report.
"Kids on the Move: Afterschool Programs Promoting Healthy Eating and Physical Activity," published by the nonprofit awareness and advocacy organization Afterschool Alliance, addresses the role that afterschool programs play in supporting the health and wellness of students. Moreover, the report takes a look at parents' expectations and satisfaction when it comes to promoting a physically active lifestyle and a nutritional diet.
Nutrition and physical activity are very important at a time where a large number of young people meet consistent health food challenges at home, leading to obesity and malnutrition. According to the report, they fail to gain the recommended among of daily physical activity, and values about health and wellness can be reinforced during afterschool programs.
The special report pays particular attention to low-income families, African-American and Hispanic families. Additionally, it examines and highlights efforts to make progress, and keep students active and healthy. Nationally, 30,720 households were screened and 13,709 household completed online surveys.
The accessibility of healthy foods and opportunities for physical activity are most important to African-American and Hispanic/Latino parents. Sixty-six percent of Hispanic parents indicated that it's very important that healthy snacks and/or meals are provided during an after school programs, compared to just 55 percent of non-Hispanic white parents. Also, 71 percent of Hispanic parents reported that physical activity opportunities were very important when selecting their child's afterschool program. Hispanic parents were more likely to cite a lack of physical activity as a reason that they didn't enroll their child in a program. Furthermore, 82 percent of Hispanic parents agree that children should be physically active during their afterschool programs.
Seventy-eight percent of Hispanic parents indicated they're satisfied with the amount of physical activity provided through their afterschool programs. However, just 40 percent of Hispanic said that all or most of the physical activity they received during the afterschool program is moderate-to-vigorous. Also, only 25 percent of Hispanic parents report that their child receives 60 minutes or more of physical activity from their afterschool program.
Nearly 70 percent of Hispanic parents believe that afterschool programs should provide healthy beverages, snacks and/or meal options for children, which is also a factor for Hispanic and African American parents when selecting a program provider, compared to white parents. Seventy percent of parents indicated that their child receives snacks and meals in their afterschool program, and 45 percent of Hispanic parents reported that their child's afterschool program provided healthy snacks.
Hispanic households, compared to white households, have an increased investment in afterschool programs.
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