175540 Embracing Latino culture while empowering parents to improve the health of their children and families

Monday, October 27, 2008: 1:42 PM

Ruth Manzano , California Adolescent Nutrition and Fitness (CANFit), Berkeley, CA
Arnell Hinkle, MPH, RD , CANFIT (Community Adolescent Nutrition and Fitness ), Berkeley, CA
In California, Latinos are one of the fastest growing cultural groups. Latino children constitute 47% of children attending public school. Many parents are struggling (e.g., low wages, learning to navigate the norms of a new country) and are now being asked to take personal responsibility for their children's eating and fitness habits. However, parents need help. Add into this scenario the particular stress and feelings of inadequacy that come when your child reaches adolescence, and you have a need for age-specific, culturally-appropriate strategies, tools and information to support children as they navigate a local environment that often does not support healthy eating and physical activity. Our theory of change is that policy change occurs when community members engage at all levels of the effort, help define policy issues and participate in the policy debate and decision-making.

The CANFit Parents Learning and Advocating for Youth Survival Skills (PLAYS) Project is a diabetes prevention advocacy program for parents of adolescents. The project was designed in Spanish with significant community involvement to be adolescent-specific and practical to implement for those living in low-income communities. The PLAYS Project deals with topics such as nutrition and physical activity skill-building, body image, media literacy, and local and state advocacy. The project created interactive, innovative materials and activities for parents and their children. This presentation will address the formative process involved in creating the Project and how it informed the communication strategies used in the project design. Outcomes from the project implementation in California will be discussed.

Learning Objectives:
1. Understand cultural factors that affect parent engagement. 2. Describe the formative process used in developing the bilingual CANFit PLAYS Project. 3. Learn effective communication strategies to engage Latino parents in advocacy for their family's health.

Keywords: Community Building, Diabetes

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I participated fully in the project.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.