Nutrition and Physical Activity

Cuidemos Nuestra Salud: Con Una Vida Balanceada

IHH, with funding from the PepsiCo Foundation, developed the Cuidemos Nuestra Salud: Con Una Vida Balanceada (Let’s Take Care of Our Health: With a Balanced Life) national pilot project to help reduce the incidence of obesity among Hispanics through nutrition and physical activity education.

Objective: Cuidemos Nuestra Salud seeks to:

  • Promote the importance of healthy dietary practices and active lifestyles to Latino communities.
  • Offer a set of best practices for community-based organizations serving Latinos.
  • Educate Latino leaders, policymakers, practitioners, and others about the childhood and adult overweight and obesity epidemic, its impact on the Latino community, and proposals to address it.

To achieve this, IHH designed, created, and is currently testing components of a tool kit for promotores de salud (lay health educators) to use in educating Latinos on the concepts of energy balance, calorie reduction, and physical activity. Six community-based organizations have received funding to conduct charlas (community educational sessions) using these tool kits and are reporting results for evaluation.

Impact: Cuidemos Nuestra Salud was begun in late 2008 and data are still being collected. However, preliminary results from the promotores de salud trainings have shown evidence of an increase in knowledge, attitude, and behavioral intent to change.

De Compras con Salud y Sabor

The De Compras con Salud y Sabor (Shopping for Health and Flavor) project, funded in 2010 by General Mills Marketing Inc., aims to develop an expanded version of Lesson One from the program Mente Sana en Cuerpo Sano, which concerns becoming a better grocery shopper.

Objective: This project will attempt to improve knowledge of and behaviors toward health-conscious shopping and food choices among Latinos in Los Angeles, Houston, and Tucson. IHH staff will work with AltaMed Health Services Corporation, ProSalud, and Luz Social Services in these cities, respectively. Using a promotores de salud model, the program will reach a minimum of 500 Latino community members through a series of charlas. The promotores will also lead several grocery trips in an effort to actively demonstrate the lessons covered in the charlas to 100 participants. With IHH’s support, AltaMed Health Services Corporation, ProSalud, and Luz Social Services will develop an action plan that will define how, when, and where the program will be implemented. The staff at each of the three Affiliate organizations will also assist in designing, testing, and carrying out the project.

Impact: De Compras con Salud y Sabor will be a unique project that integrates a point-of-purchase activity to compliment the more traditional learning session.

Nutrition Education

The Nutrition Education project, funded by the ConAgra Foundation in 2008, is designed to better equip low-income, Spanish-speaking Latinos with the resources necessary to improve their food choices and engage in physical activity, as well as conduct policy and advocacy work to address hunger among Hispanics.

Objective: The Nutrition Education project attempts to spur improved food choices and increased physical activity among low-income, Spanish-speaking Latinos by enhancing one of NCLR’s existing promotores de salud (lay health educators)-driven heart disease prevention programs: Salud para su Corazón. In addition, the project seeks to shape policy through advocacy work to address hunger in the Latino community by increasing awareness of Latino hunger issues and identifying mechanisms to increase Hispanics’ access to federal nutrition programs.

Impact: The Nutrition Education project has been well received by Affiliates and community members. It has raised awareness of resources available in the community, increased knowledge about healthy eating among Latinos, and influenced policy to address hunger in the Latino community.

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