The study found that parents in Hispanic or Asian immigrant families in California were less likely to read or look at picture books with their young children than non-Hispanic white parents.
“I think there's enough research that reading to children early on prepares them better for school,” senior author Dr. Fernando Mendoza told Reuters Health. “Early reading enlarges vocabulary and becomes a tool for many other kinds of learning later on in school.”
Mendoza worked on the study at the Stanford University School of Medicine in Palo Alto, California.
“There is a difference in the reported reading in immigrant households, but we have a long way to go in understanding what is behind that,” added Natalia Festa, who also worked on the study at Stanford.
The researchers looked at data from statewide telephone surveys of households in California in 2005, 2007 and 2009. The surveys asked almost 15,000 parents of children under age six how often anyone in the household read stories or looked at picture books with the child.
About half of the children in the study had two U.S.-born parents, with the other half having at least one foreign-born parent, which qualified as an immigrant family.
As a whole, 67 percent of kids shared books with their parents on a daily basis, and another 22 percent did so almost daily, according to the surveys. Seven percent of kids shared books with parents one or two days per week, and the remaining four percent never shared books, the researchers reported in Pediatrics.
Parents with low education levels or a low household income were less likely to book share with their kids. But even when those factors were taken into account, immigrant parents were less likely to share books than native-born parents.
“This paper just says there is a difference, and not because they're poor, but because they are immigrants,” Mendoza said.
More than two thirds of parents in English-speaking households reported daily book sharing, compared to half of parents in non-English-speaking homes.
“Findings like this are really important, they continue to document the ways that immigrant families are at risk,” said Dr. Alan L. Mendelsohn, who studies child development at the New York University School of Medicine. He was not part of the new research.
Reading or storytelling in early life predicts how well children will do when they enter preschool, which translates to how they do when they start kindergarten, which is incredibly predictive of achievement later in school and in life, Mendelsohn said.
Since economic differences don't explain the trends seen in the study, cultural differences in child rearing might, according to pediatrics researcher Dr. Barry S. Zuckerman of the Boston University School of Medicine.
“Most immigrant parents, particularly those from rural areas of their native countries, grew up where their parents didn't read to them,” Zuckerman told Reuters Health. He also didn't participate in the new study.
What's important about book sharing, he said, is that it's an interactive experience between parent and child.
“We do know that input into the brain system changes the brain architecture, and not reading specifically, but exposure to words,” he said. “Children learn words and language when it's a response to them.”
With picture books, parents help the child name an animal or elaborate on the stories in the pictures, he said.
Many immigrant parents may have two jobs or work long hours, leaving less time for book sharing, Mendoza said.
The experts agreed that it is likely not an issue of available children's books in languages other than English, since telling a story based on a picture book requires almost no actual reading for the parent.
“What this work really highlights is the importance of engaging families early in life,” Mendelsohn said.
The study authors highlight programs that promote childhood literacy and center on family visits to the pediatrician, like Reach Out and Read, which Zuckerman founded. Reach Out and Read provides books in the family's preferred language and involves taking some time out of regular pediatric visits for the doctor and parent to discuss the importance of reading.
A language barrier between the doctor and parent in that setting could make reading advocacy programs less effective for immigrant families, but that's a question that needs further investigation, Mendoza said.
More than half of children born in California today are Latino, and investing in their future is investing in the future of the country as a whole, he said.
Source: Published originally on Reuters.com as Immigrant parents less likely to read to their children: study by Kathryn Doyle, Jun 2, 2014.
Los fabricantes de productos alternativos a los refrescos gaseosos - como Gatorade, Vitamin Water y los tés Snapple – usan afirmaciones engañosas para convencer a los consumidores preocupados por su salud a comprar sus productos, según un reporte dado a conocer hoy por el Centro Atkins para el Peso y la Salud (Atkins Center for Weight and Health) de UC Berkeley.
Los investigadores estudiaron la creciente y con frecuencia confusa lista de suplementos que se agregan a las bebidas. En la mayoría de los casos, descubrieron que las bebidas ofrecen pocos o no beneficios a la salud y podrían ser peligrosas.
"A pesar de la connotación positiva en torno a las bebidas energizantes y deportivas, estos productos son esencialmente gaseosas sin carbonación o efervescencia", dijo Patricia Crawford, especialista de Extensión Cooperativa de la UC en el Departamento de Ciencias de la Nutrición y Toxicología de UC Berkeley.
Los expertos se enfocaron en 21 bebidas populares promovidas por los fabricantes como bebidas que "favorecen la salud y el rendimiento". Además del azúcar, la cafeína, endulzantes sin calorías, sodio, y vitaminas y minerales, alguna bebidas incluyen suplementos como guaraná, ginseng, taurina, gingko biloba y extracto de jengibre. De los cinco suplementos de hierbas, solamente el extracto de jengibre está clasificado como "posiblemente seguro" para los niños, mencionó Crawford.
Debido a que contienen cafeína, los anunciantes promueven las bebidas como fuentes de energía, concentración, resistencia y desempeño. El estudio, sin embargo, documentó efectos dañinos, como el incremento de estrés, nerviosismo, ansiedad, dolores de cabeza, insomnio, temblores, alucinaciones y ataques.
"La afirmaciones sobre salud que (los fabricantes de las bebidas) hacen hoy día son el equivalente de la venta del aceite de víbora en épocas de antaño", señaló Harold Goldstein del Centro para la Defensa de la Salud Pública, agencia que comisionó el estudio.
Para leer el reporte entero, visite http://www.publichealthadvocacy.org/healthhalo.html.
The report, a first of its kind national survey, found that among Latinos with or without health insurance, multiple barriers to manage diabetes, hypertension, heart disease and asthma, continue to exist, including transportation to and from health centers, language and cultural issues and feelings of discrimination.
Among the report findings:
• Sixty percent of those who responded were told by a doctor that they have a chronic disease.
• Of those surveyed, 25 percent had visited a hospital emergency room for a chronic related disease in the last 12 months.
• About 75 percent of survey respondents were either overweight or obese.
“The participants of the survey are accessing health care but to manage a chronic disease is a complicated or complex problem that needs more than 15 minutes of interaction with a provider,” said Manuela McDonough, associate director of the Institute for Hispanic Health at the National Council of La Raza. “Our affiliates are doing the best job they can. But they are understaffed and underfunded and can't meet the demands of this growing population.”
Some of those surveyed were patients of the Southern California-based AltaMed, which runs a network of federally funded community clinics in Los Angeles and Orange counties.
The community clinics are geographically located in underserved areas, but income, poverty and cultural beliefs about mammograms, for example, contribute to the disparity gaps, regardless of health insurance coverage.
Among the recommendations made in the report is to encourage and support the work of promotoras, or health promoters in communities that can offer education and find services for those who need helping managing chronic conditions.
Source: Published originally on The Los Angeles Daily News as Chronic disease on the rise among Latino populationby Susan Abram, July 15, 2014.
- ¡No se salte el desayuno! Los estudios muestran que los niños que desayunan tienen mejor rendimiento en la escuela.
- Si empaca un almuerzo hecho en casa para sus niños, incluya una buena variedad de frutas y verduras, granos integrales, productos lácteos bajos en grasa y proteínas y carnes magras.
- ¡Ofrézcales opciones nuevas! Empaque frutas exóticas, como el kiwi o permita que los niños elijan una nueva y divertida fruta o verdura en el supermercado. Hay mayores posibilidades de que se coman su almuerzo si ayudaron a prepararlo.
- Refuerce la limpieza y recuérdele a sus hijos que deben lavarse las manos antes de comer, o inclúyales una toallita húmeda o desinfectante para manos en su lonchera.
- La actividad física y el ejercicio son importantes y ayudan a mejorar la salud del niño. Los niños deben mantenerse activos al menos 60 minutos al día y los adultos por lo menos 30 minutos. ¡Haga del ejercicio un asunto familiar y obtenga la actividad física que todos necesitan! Caminen durante el fin de semana, saquen el perro a caminar juntos o monten en bicicleta después de la cena.
Pruebe esta receta fácil de preparar para el almuerzo de sus niños o substituya con una variedad de sus verduras preferidas.
Sándwich con pan pita relleno de pollo
1 taza de espinacas chicas
4 onzas de pollo cocido sin hueso ni pellejo
1/2 taza de pimiento rojo en rodajas
2 cuchara de vinagreta italiana baja en grasa
1 pan pita (de 6 pulgadas) de grano integral, cortado a la mitad
- Combine las espinacas, pimiento y vinagreta en un tazón; revuelva ligeramente para mezclar los ingredientes.
- Corte el pan pita a la mitad.
- Use una cuchara para rellenar la mitad del pan con la mezcla de ingredientes.
- Una vez rellenas, envuélvalas bien para que su hijo las disfrute durante el almuerzo.
La receta fue obtenida de: http://www.health.com/health/recipe/0,,10000001983452,00.html
Recent events, however, have caused me to consider still another possible option, although at this point I'm not sure what to label it. For now, I'll simply call it an ethnic special interest. Let me explain.
My father was raised in Guadalajara, Mexico. His family fled to the United States in 1913 during the Mexican Revolution. Growing up in early post-World War II Kansas City, Missouri, I was immersed in Mexican lore by my father, who wanted to develop in me a robust Mexican identity. But he also helped imbue in me a deep love for my country, the United States. Maybe that's the reason I don't see any inherent conflict between having both a strong ethnic identity and a strong dedication to one's nation.
My mother's parents were immigrants, too: my grandmother from Austria; and my grandfather from Ukraine. They also raised me in an ethnic tradition, but not a nation-based one: a Jewish ethnic tradition. They seldom talked about Austria or Ukraine, places that mainly brought painful memories of anti-Jewish oppression, from which their families had fled. This brings me back to my earlier ethnic categorical musing.
Current events – the ousting of the Russian-leaning president of Ukraine, Russia's occupation of Crimea, and continuing tensions involving the two nations – have provoked in me a sense of connection spawned by my ancestry. It's not a Ukrainian ethnic identity, of which I have none. Rather it's a special interest because events there may connect, in some yet-undetermined way, with part of my personal heritage.
I raise this topic because a rapidly-increasing number of U.S. Latinos have mixed heritages. Sometimes these are people with two or more national-origin Latino heritages. Sometimes they involve non-Latino along with Latino heritages. As we move further into the twenty-first century, issues of heritage and identity are likely to become even more complex.
The basic question is this: in what respects will future Latinos grow up as Americans with Latino identity, Americans with specific Hispanic national-origin identities, or merely Americans of Hispanic heritage? This question will become even more challenging as Latinos continue to intermarry and mixed Latinos – people like me – become an increasing part of the U.S. cultural kaleidoscope. The ways that Latinos address and wrestle with the complexities of ethnic identity amid multiple heritages could play a significant role in the future Hispanic trajectory.
Source: Univision's Hispanic Insights Blog, Beyond Heritage and Identity by Dr. Carlos E. Cortés, Professor Emeritus of History at the University of California, Riverside, June 27, 2014.