206710 Comienzo Sano: Familia Saludable Community-based health education program to reduce risk of childhood obesity in the Latino Community

Wednesday, November 11, 2009: 9:30 AM

Britt Rios-Ellis, PhD, MS , NCLR/CSULB Center for Latino Community Health, California State University Long Beach, Long Beach, CA
Gail Frank , Family and Consumer Sciences Department, California State University Long Beach, Long Beach, CA
Kevin Malotte, DrPH , Center for Health Care Innovation, CSULB, Long Beach, CA
Melawhy L. Garcia, BA , NCLR/CSULB Center for Latino Community Health, California State University Long Beach, Long Beach, CA
Latinos are at increased risk for a myriad of child health problems, including the detrimental health effects resulting from childhood overweight and obesity. Additionally, there is a paucity of culturally and linguistically appropriate methods and adequately trained professionals to meet the needs of Latino families. Latina mothers often serve as catalysts for family health behavior change and access to the health care system, particularly during the perinatal period. The Comienzo Sano: Familia Saludable Program is an innovative, multidisciplinary program that employs and trains bilingual, bicultural college students (primarily first generation to attend college) to deliver educational classes to Latina participants in the City of Long Beach, California Women, Infants and Children's (WIC) Program.

Student Community Health Educators conducted a series of 10 classes in 5 sessions on different topic areas such as: prenatal care, the importance of breastfeeding, age-appropriate introduction of foods and solids, techniques for maintenance of a healthy weight, and the importance of physical activity for the entire family. The sessions were conducted with 200 Spanish and English-speaking Latinas and incorporated motivational interviewing techniques to assess and improve motivation and perceived self-efficacy with regard to changing and performing specific behaviors.

This program has important public health and social justice implications as it addresses inequities inherent in the escalating rates of Latino obesity/childhood overweight, while providing students with an opportunity to learn from, and provide for, their respective communities. Findings and implementation strategies will be shared.

Learning Objectives:
1.Describe innovative multidisciplinary program aiming to reduce the risk of childhood overweight and obesity in the Latino Community. 2.Articulate culturally and linguistically effective strategies and key findings based on quantitative and qualitative analyses.

Keywords: Breastfeeding, Nutrition

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have numerous years of experience conducting community based research programs, including maternal and child health programs and other health topics.
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.