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Latinos More Obese, have Diabetes Risk

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FRESNO, Calif., Mar 20, 2004 (United Press International via COMTEX) -- Researchers from Fresno, Calif., warn that an obesity epidemic among Latino schoolchildren leaves too many students vulnerable to diabetes.

Latino teens are about twice as likely as white teens to be overweight, according to a study done by Dr. Phyllis Preciado of Fresno Unified School District students ages 10 to 16, the Sacramento Bee reported Saturday.

"Our school nurses are up in arms," Preciado said Friday at the National Hispanic Medical Association conference. "They're saying, 'What are we going to do with our kids? We know they're fat. We know they're underachieving.'"

For all ages studied, Preciado found that 27 percent of Fresno's Latino students were in the highest overweight category, compared to 16 percent of white and Asian American students being overweight. Nearly 35 percent of the 12-and 13-year-old males Latino students were obese, Preciado found.

To educate the students, Preciado produced a video that follows "Pancho" through the day, as he learns about the linkages among diet, health and diabetes.

Copyright 2004 by United Press International.


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