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Lynchburg Journal of Medical Science

Lynchburg Journal of Medical Science

Specialty

Community Health and Preventative Medicine

Advisor

Dr. Laura Witte, PhD, PA-C

Abstract

ABSTRACT

Background: As the prevalence of childhood obesity has increased worldwide, ethnically diverse and low-income communities have been disproportionately affected. This paradox, known as the dual burden, presents as the concomitance of overnutrition (obesity) and undernutrition (malnourishment). Hispanic children in the United States are more likely to experience this dual burden, despite the prevalence of a cultural tradition that values farming and agriculture.

Objectives: The primary aim of this systematic review is to assess the impact of community garden programs on childhood weight status in Hispanic populations of the United States.

Methods: A PubMed literature search was conducted with search terms Hispanic, community garden, obesity, childhood. Two pertinent articles were retrieved and served as the basis for this systematic review. Quality of included reviews was assessed using the ICROMS tool.

Results: There appears to be significant correlation between implementation of community garden programs and improvement of childhood weight status in Hispanic populations of the United States.

Discussion: Persons of Hispanic origin historically construct the majority of agriculturally based professions, but have limited access to resources imperative for early nutritional education and advocacy. Development and implementation of community garden programs in Hispanic populations is described as making impact by reducing food insecurity and improving dietary intake of nutritious foods. Knowledge of the benefits of community garden programs on Hispanic childhood weight status allows providers to address and integrate formative behaviors in a receptive population which significantly impacts the burden of disease as the child progresses into adulthood.

Keywords: Hispanic, community garden, obesity, childhood.

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