UC Davis professor Adela de la Torre, a national expert on Chicano and Latino health issues, today received a five-year, $4.8 million federal grant to discover the best ways to help Mexican-heritage children in California maintain healthy weights.
The study, called "Ninos Sanos, Familia Sana" (Healthy Children, Healthy Family), will take place in the Central Valley towns of Firebaugh and San Joaquin.
"More than four in every 10 children born to parents of Mexican heritage are overweight or obese, and therefore at greater risk of early diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease," said de la Torre. "We are fortunate that we have received unprecedented support to tackle this issue from community members, so that we can build a healthier environment in Firebaugh and San Joaquin.
"We hope that this is the beginning of a series of long-term, collaborative projects to tackle issues of importance raised by our community advisory board."
UC Davis was one of 24 institutions selected by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) in a national competition for $80 million in grants to address obesity in children ages 2 through 8.
"We know that for our children to grow up and win the future, they need nutritious diets and healthy lifestyles that enable them to reach their fullest potential," said Roger Beachy, director of the National Institute of Food and Agriculture. "USDA supports the research and development of science-based methods that can reverse the trend of rising obesity and assist children and their families in adopting healthy eating habits that will last a lifetime."
In the UC Davis "Ninos Sanos, Familia Sana" study, 400 Firebaugh children and their families will be provided with practical tools, education and incentives to help them eat healthy diets and get sufficient exercise.
The Firebaugh program activities include:
|Contact: Adela de la Torre|
University of California - Davis