Pediatric Obesity Prevention and Treatment Among Hispanics: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

Published:January 31, 2022DOI:


      The rates of pediatric obesity in the U.S. are highest among Hispanics. There is no existing meta-analysis of the effects of obesity interventions among Hispanic youth. This systematic review and meta-analysis assesses the effects of obesity prevention and treatment interventions on Hispanic youth's weight status and lifestyle behaviors.


      PubMed, PsycINFO, and Scopus were searched between January 1, 2000 and October 30, 2020. Interventions with ≥50% Hispanic youth aged 0–18 years were included. Using a weighted inverse-variance procedure, fixed-effects and random-effects models were run for an overall effect size on the basis of the Qtotal test statistic. Hedges’ g was calculated for outcomes of interest between baseline and postintervention separately for studies with multiple versus single conditions. Continuous and categorical moderators were also examined.


      A total of 1,103 articles were screened, of which 117 were included in the narrative synthesis and 105 in the meta-analysis (n=49,276 youth). The overall effects for RCT/quasi-experimental studies on BMI status (g= −0.15, SE=0.03, 95% CI= −0.20, −0.10), waist circumference (g= −0.15, SE=0.10, 95% CI= −0.35, −0.05), physical activity (g=0.12, SE=0.05, 95% CI=0.03, 0.22), fruit and vegetable intake (g=0.08, SE=0.02, 95% CI=0.03, 0.12), and sugar-sweetened beverage intake (g= −0.07, SE= 0.03, 95% CI= −0.13, −0.01) were small. Intervention effects varied by participant developmental stage, SES, study setting, and lifestyle behavior target.


      Beyond developing more impactful interventions to address obesity among Hispanic youth, findings highlight the need for targeted policies and more easily disseminable interventions that can spread small effects across a population for maximal public health impact.
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