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Latino fathers promoting healthy youth behaviors

Padres preparados, jóvenes saludables

Family Development staff are leading a five-year project to prevent obesity among Latino adolescents. This project has received nearly $1 million in new grant funding from the National Institute for Food and Agriculture (NIFA) through the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI) Childhood Obesity Prevention Challenge Area.

        Preliminary results released

        To adapt the Padres Informados, Jóvenes Preparados curriculum using a CBPR approach, the team conducted focus groups with Latino fathers, mothers, and youth. Information from these focus groups were then used to inform the curriculum development process.

        The project

        The Latino Fathers Promoting Healthy Youth Behaviors project aims to prevent obesity among Latino adolescents by engaging families, especially fathers or other male caregivers in the household (foster parents, uncles, grandparents, or older brothers), and their child (10–14 years old) in a culturally- and linguistically-appropriate prevention program.

        The approach

        This project adopts a community-based participatory research (CBPR) approach. Extension staff will actively partner with community organizations serving Latino populations in both urban and rural areas in Minnesota. All stakeholders will contribute to developing a community-based obesity prevention curriculum for Latino families.

        The curriculum will be adapted from an evidence-based parenting curriculum titled Padres Informados, Jóvenes Preparados. This eight-week program has shown to be effective in improving Latino parenting practices for preventing youth substance abuse. 

        The adapted program will focus on improving youth energy balance-related behaviors by increasing parent involvement in positive parenting practices. The positive parenting practices include providing supporting environment for healthy eating and physical activity, setting expectations, and role modeling. The energy balance-related behaviors include the following activities.

        • Consuming fruits and vegetables, sugary drinks, sweets and salty snacks, and fast foods.
        • Participating in family meals.
        • Engaging in physical activity and screen time.

        The timeline

        This five-year grant started in March 2016 and will continue until February 2021.

        Years 1–2

        • Convene Stakeholder Advisory Team.
        • Adapt, pretest, and revise curriculum.
        • Develop program evaluation protocols.

        Years 2–4

        • Implement programs at community sites.

        Year 5

        • Analyze program outcomes.
        • Report findings to stakeholders.

        The team

        The multidisciplinary team working on this project includes faculty from several different departments at the University; Extension educators from Health and Nutrition, Family Relations, and Family Resource Management; SNAP-Ed educators; and Latino community leaders.


        Related resource

        USDA Announces $3.8 Million in Grants and Additional $7 Million Available for Critical Research to Prevent Childhood ObesityNational Institute of Food and Agriculture — Read NIFA’s May 19 press release.

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