Study: Health Coaches Key to Addressing Latino Lifestyle Issues


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Editor’s Note: This is a 20-part series featuring new research briefs on Latino childhood obesity, nutrition, physical activity and more by the 20 grantees of Salud America! Part 5 is Dr. Alexy Arauz Boudreau. Find all briefs here.

Dr. Alexy Arauz Boudreau

Dr. Alexy Arauz Boudreau
“A Family Approach to Addressing Lifestyle Decisions Regarding Obesity and Diabetes”

In her Salud America! pilot research project, Dr. Alexy Arauz Boudreau of Massachusetts General Hospital tested the feasibility and effectiveness of a family-centered approach consisting of interactive group classes followed by six months of health coaching.

The five-session group classes, known as Power-Up, are for Latino families with obese children. Health coaching is delivered by a Latina medical assistant who knows the community, using a coaching style modeled on a successful adult diabetes program, but tailored to include the child and family and focused on age-appropriate opportunities and solutions.

Key preliminary findings include:

  • group classes and health coaching can be well-attended by Latinos;
  • in the intervention’s group classes, children and parents are assimilating nutritional knowledge; and
  • obese Latino children are at higher risk for cardiovascular disease and diabetes.

Results indicate that health coaches are key to addressing lifestyle diseases among Latino populations at high risk of obesity. Addressing reimbursement for health coaching services is a critical step in transforming the medical system to a more efficient and successful system.

Read more here.

Salud America! is an RWJF national program directed by the Institute for Health Promotion Research at The UT Health Science Center at San Antonio, the team behind SaludToday.

By The Numbers By The Numbers



of Latino kids have obesity (compared to 11.7% of white kids)

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