Healthy Latinas, a Nutrition and Fitness Program.

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Purpose: Childhood and adolescent obesity continues to be a growing problem in our society, especially for the Hispanic population. There are limited studies examining obesity prevention and healthy living interventions in the Hispanic adolescent population, particularly that incorporate a community-centered focus and parental participation. The aim of this study is to pilot a culturally-grounded, healthy living program for Hispanic female adolescents and their caregivers to promote healthy eating habits, physical activity, a positive body image, and to reduce unhealthy weight gain.

Methods: Healthy Latinas is a two-arm randomized control study using a waitlist control group. A pre and post design will be used for this study as well as comparisons between the treatment (cohort 1) and waitlist control (cohort 2) group. The target population is Hispanic female adolescents, ages 13–18, with BMI of 25–39.9 kg/m2 and their mother or caregiver. Adolescents will participate in a 2-hour program that will be held once a week for 10 weeks during after-school hours in the second half of 2017. One hour will be devoted to physical activity and one hour to nutrition classes and self-esteem workshops. Surveys about healthy food choices, family meals, physical activity, screen time and self-esteem will be obtained during the first and last weeks of each cohort. BMI, waist circumference ad endurance measurements will also be obtained during these times. Follow up anthropometric measurements and surveys will be taken at 3, 6, and 9 months post-intervention. Paired sample t-tests and chi-square tests will be conducted to examine change over time on all measures. ANOVAs will be conducted to compare change over time, including the follow-up time points.

Results: The expected results for this ongoing study are to positively impact the following behaviors: increasing healthy food choices, encouraging family-centered meal times, boosting physical activity, and decreasing non-active screen time. We also expect to see reduced BMI, decline in waist circumference, improved physical strength/endurance, and an improved sense of worth/self-esteem.

Conclusions: The Healthy Latinas program will underscore the importance of culturally based programs founded in family support and community involvement in the health and wellness of young Hispanic females. It will also give insight on the value of family and the community in cultivating self-esteem in the lives of Hispanic adolescent females.






Medicine and Health Sciences | Pediatrics


Department of Pediatrics, Department of Pediatrics Faculty, Department of Pediatrics Residents

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