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University of Illinois Extension and Outreach Initiative

Building a Hispanic Health Ambassadors Program with Abriendo Caminos

Hispanic Health Ambassadors (Abriendo Caminos)

The obesity burden is elevated in Hispanic and other minority communities in part due to low literacy rates, low household-income, and high prevalence of diseases like diabetes, dyslipidemia, or hypertension. Culturally sensitive lifestyle interventions and educational programs are a promising approach to reducing obesity risk in Hispanic families. Abriendo Caminos is a community-based program targeting whole families to encourage healthy eating, incorporating elements of traditional Hispanic dietary patterns, collective family mealtimes, and culturally-tailored physical activity.