Online Program

Comidas Para Bienestar ("Foods For Wellness"): Developing a Culturally Relevant Nutritional Tool for the Latino Community

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Katherine Nordgren, MPH, MD Candidate, School of Public Health, New York Medical College, Valhalla, NY
Penny Liberatos, PhD, School of Health Sciences & Practice, New York Medical College, Valhalla, NY
Tammy Evans, MPH, Open Door Family Medical Center, Ossining, NY
Background:  Latinos in the US face disproportionately high rates of obesity and obesity-related diseases.  Despite this, most nutritional interventions have not focused on this population.      

Objective:  To develop a culturally relevant nutritional tool (book of healthy Latin recipes) for Latinos and assess its utility. 

Methods:  Latino patients at Open Door Family Medical Center [ODFMC] (a federally-qualified community health center serving approximately 34,000 Latinos at four sites north of NYC) were surveyed to assess food habits and preferences.  Popular Latin recipes were collected from ODFMC patients, staff and the internet.  They were redeveloped to better align with recommended nutritional guidelines, tested and compiled into a book, “Comidas Para Bienestar,” along with culturally relevant nutrition educational information.  The recipes represent many countries, especially those most reflective of ODFMC’s patients: Mexico and Ecuador.  The book will be distributed to Latino patients at ODFMC.  Recipes will be promoted through on-site cooking demonstrations and distribution of food samples.  Participants will be asked for feedback on the recipes via a short survey.

Results:  In the initial survey, participants cited a conflict between a desire to eat healthier and to eat foods that were familiar and enjoyable.  The upcoming survey will evaluate patients’ opinions of the recipes, including their taste/overall appeal and ease of preparation.  Patients will also rate how likely they are to use the book and to incorporate healthier eating into their lifestyles. 

Conclusion:  “Comidas Para Bienestar” could be a promising tool for promoting/facilitating healthier eating and, thus, helping to combat obesity in this population.

Learning Areas:

Diversity and culture
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs

Learning Objectives:
Compare rates of obesity and obesity-related diseases among Latinos to that of other groups. Identify potential barriers to healthy eating faced by the Latino community. Discuss how culturally relevant nutritional tools can help address some of these barriers and promote healthy eating and obesity reduction in the Latino community.

Keyword(s): Latinos, Nutrition

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a medical and public health student in Behavioral Sciences and Health Promotion— a program that focuses on strategies to promote/facilitate behavior change in individuals. I have experience doing medical and public health work with Latino populations in the US and Latin America. I have professional experience working as a cook, including helping to develop healthy recipes. My main health interests are nutrition and addressing health disparities faced by the Latino community.
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.