LATINOS and HEALTH
As with many recent immigrants, especially those at the bottom of the economic ladder, Hispanics do not have regular access to healthcare, a real challenge for those with pre-existing conditions and nutritionally poor diets. In a 2010 nationwide survey conducted by the Center for Disease Control, 32% of Hispanics over 18 were considered obese compared to 26 percent of non-Hispanic Whites. The 2011 National Diabetes Fact Sheet revealed that of those aged 20 and older; 7% percent of non-Hispanic whites were diabetic compared to nearly 12% of Hispanics. The risk of diseases associated with obesity is compounded for anyone with diabetes.
Knowing these facts, no matter their degree of acculturation or income, Hispanics are well aware their diets may be partially to blame and they are changing their eating and drinking habits. In a 2012 study conducted by Tr3s, it was shown that three out of four Hispanic households tend to eat whole grains with more than 60% eating less sugar. Hispanic Millennials are now just as likely to want organic and natural foods as other first generation immigrant groups.
In a recent Hispanic Foodservice Consumer Trend Report by Technomic, two thirds of Hispanics were even saying they want dining places with healthy menu options. Recent Mintel Research studies show that when more English is spoken in the household, the family is more likely to buy healthy foods. A 2012 report from AMG Strategic Buyers and Univision indicated that in the vast majority of Hispanic households, healthier and fresher foods are preferred.
Hispanics are more likely to cook at home than other groups.
47% say they eat “healthy foods even though they are more expensive,” compared to 42% of other groups. 38% of Hispanics claim to eat more natural foods as opposed to 27% of other groups; organic foods are preferred by 31% compared to the 27% preference of other groups. In a recent Holistic Health issue, it was reported that 57% of Hispanics say that their friends and families are their main source of health related information, a sharp contrast to 41% of non-Hispanic groups. It’s no surprise since relationship circles in Hispanic communities are strong and very influential. Savvy marketers should recognize important opportunities as they target Hispanics.
In lieu of being able to afford expensive health care, at least in the short term, the key to better health and wellness for this growing demographic group may well prove to be choosing healthier foods and beverages options that feature fresh ingredients and authentic flavors.
Check back on in-sight for more articles in our Sabor in America Series