New research shows a growing trend: Latino neighborhoods tend to have more fast food restaurants and snack vendors than supermarkets and famer’s markets.

     Dr. Amelie G. Ramirez, the director of ‘Salud America!,’ based at the Institute for Healthy Promotion at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, said Hispanic families don’t have access to affordable foods to sustain a healthy lifestyle.

     “Having better access to supermarkets is linked to having better weight outcomes,” Dr. Ramirez said. “There tends to be less obesity in those neighborhoods where you have more fresh fruits and vegetables offered.”

     It’s concerning, nationwide obesity rates have increase especially for Latino children, she said.

     “Thirty-eight percent of our children between the ages of 2-19 are either overweight or obese and these rates have been increasing,” Dr. Ramirez said. “Our nation as a whole really needs to reverse the trend of childhood obesity and it’s really going to take national effort.”

      Families should really do their research and stay informed and insist on getting the resources to live a healthier lifestyle, Dr. Ramirez said.

     “Families should ask to bring more supermarkets or famer's market to our communities,” she said. “And ask to help expand our corner small grocery stores where they can provide more fresh fruit or vegetables to their communities.”