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Comic book moms are nutrition heroes to guide migrant family health
Date:6/14/2010

Two Latina mothers are heroes in the new comic book, Small Changes Big Results from the Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing at Case Western Reserve University. Their quest is to create a healthier lifestyle for their children and families and combat obesity.

The cartoon moms are like real-life moms in Latino farm workers' families, who are concerned about the growing obesity problem among young children, says Jill Kilanowski, assistant professor at the Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing at Case Western Reserve University.

As part of several research projects, Kilanowski studied over 200 children on farms near Fremont, Willard, Urbana and Tipp City in Ohio and South Haven, Michigan.

Kilanowski has been studying children from migrant camps for three years as part of the "Dietary Intake and Nutritional Education (DINE) for Latino Migrant Farmworkers." The study is part of a National Institute of Health-funded Center of Excellence Self-Management Advancement through Research and Translation (SMART) at the CWRU nursing school.

The researcher set out to find a way to get the message about having a healthy lifestyle across to the migrant childrenof whom some 41 percent are overweight or obese. That number is more than double the national average for the children between the ages of 2 and 19 according to the 2003-2004 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.

Playing a role in changing lifestyles are moms, who traditionally cook the meals in Latino families.

"This comic is about making changes for the whole family," Kilanowski said.

The comic offers tips about exercising and making such small changes as switching from the popular lardo (animal fat) to using healthier cooking oils like canola oil. It talks about increasing vegetables, using whole grains, decreasing television time, playing outside more, looking at food portions, eating breakfast and more family meals.

When Kilanows
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Contact: Susan Griffith
susan.griffith@case.edu
216-368-1004
Case Western Reserve University
Source:Eurekalert

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