Do you want your kids to become strong, healthy adults? Then you may want to adopt the behaviors you’d like them to follow.

Researchers from Northwestern University in Chicago have warned that Latino children tend to share the unhealthy metabolic risk factors of their caregivers. And boys are at greater risk than girls. This finding, presented at the American Heart Association’s Epidemiology/Lifestyle 2016 Scientific Sessions, was based on data culled from the Hispanic Community Children’s Health Study/Study of Latino Youth. The study featured 1,466 boys and girls aged 8–16 and 1,020 caregivers.

The researchers looked at metabolic risk factors like blood pressure, blood sugar and cholesterol levels. Then they compared each child’s results with those of his or her caregiver.

“They found that girls were about four times and boys nearly seven times more likely to be obese when their caregivers were obese,” according to an American Heart Association news release. “After adjustments, girls and boys were likely to have similar trends [to their caregivers for] measures of body fat, blood pressure and cholesterol.”

The researchers concluded that individuals in the Latino community who are at risk for obesity and other unhealthy metabolic characteristics would be well served via family-based interventions.

Ryan Halvorson

Ryan Halvorson is an award-winning writer and editor. He is a long-time author and presenter for IDEA Health & Fitness Association, fitness industry consultant and former director of group training for Bird Rock Fit. He is also a Master Trainer for TriggerPoint.

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