Muevete NAHN Miami Chapter Project: Reducing Obesity in Hispanic Children
Messmer, Patricia R.
Etienne, Marie O.
Rodriguez, Maria Cary
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Session presented on Sunday, July 26, 2015: Introduction: Childhood obesity is widely recognized as a major public health problem of global significance (Onis, 2014). Treating obesity-related illness (25% of Florida population) is $6,675,940 with Latino children at a greater risk of obesity with prevalence increasing over time (Wiley, et al, 2014). Obese children living in Miami-Dade County, Florida (20%) are more likely to develop Diabetes Type 2 and cardiovascular disease (RWJ & NCLS, 2012). From 2012-2014, the National Association of Hispanic Nurses (NAHN) Miami Chapter was a site for the Muevete USA Project to reduce USA Hispanic childhood/adolescent obesity. The program funded by the Coca-Cola Foundation (Milan, 2011) was in partnership with the U.S. 1st Lady Michelle Obama Let's Move (www.letsmove.gov) and other weight management programs (Brown et al, 2014). Purpose: To determine if an educational program on nutrition, labels, physical activity and exercise can increase Hispanic children's knowledge of preventing obesity. Methodology: A descriptive exploratory research design. Hispanic children completed five pre/post tests for a total of 15 questions - 'My Plate'; 'Food Label'; 'Physical Activity and Exercise' 'Healthy Snacks' and 'Goal Setting'. Content validity was established. Community Health ASN & RNSN students (90) participated in Muevete projects at Kendall campus (both years) and VG (2nd year). Students, received 10 community hours for orientation, designing posters and attending the events. Children (4-15), were divided into 12 groups with two students/group; taking food cutouts, making plates with appropriate portions, nutritional requirements and reading labels. A FDA representative taught hand washing techniques. Results: Over 357 children participated 232 at Kendall and 125 children at VG. Children ranged in age 4-16, M age 8.1 at Kendall while ages 4-17, M age 9.4 at VG. Kendall- predominately Hispanics with more Caucasians than Blacks; VG- equal number Blacks and Hispanics with lower number of Caucasians with more males at both sites. Kendall - M for pretest was 9.4 increasing to 10.58 posttest with 13.62% change. VG site. M pretest was 8.33 increasing to 9.45 with 13% change. Higher scores correlated with older children but not ethnicity- pre to posttest. Discussion: Children demonstrated awareness/understanding of Nutrition Facts Labels, identified food handling, daily portions of fruits, vegetables, grains, dairy, protein and drew a plate with food portions (www.choosemyplate.gov). They exercised with a Yoga instructor, leaRN CDC hand washing techniques; parents received nutrition classes. Most missed question -'How much Sodium is in this entire food product?' per food label. Although Sodium was 440 mg for one serving, the total for 4 servings was 1760mg. Conclusion: Children loved Muevete t-shirts; healthy snacks, exercising, They understood the need to wash their hands and leaRN to overcome and confront childhood obesity. This program helps to reduce obesity for a large number of Hispanic as well as non-Hispanics children, decreasing the obesity level and reducing the associated healthcare costs.