Nationwide, Latinos of all age groups disproportionately experience overweight and obesity morbidity and mortality. These disparities are exacerbated in communities with high rates of poverty and limited English proficiency. The eight-county region of the San Joaquin Valley (SJV) of California is such an area. SJV is represented by one of the highest concentrations of Latinos in the U.S., predominantly of Mexican descent. The region also has among the highest rates of undocumented, immigrant Latino populations which are largely under-represented in research and pose greater challenges in relationship with researchers. Established in 2005, the University of California, Merced (UC Merced) is the first-ever research university in the SJV and one of two Hispanic Serving Institutions in the 10-campus UC system. Since its inception UC Merced has had a strong, formal commitment to improve the well-being of SJV. Since 2006, UC Merced has grown an initiative for Community Engaged Scholarship that has contributed to multiple regional CBPR efforts with a focus on social justice and health equity. These efforts have not well reached the Latino communities in SJV nor have they addressed obesity disparities. The proposed collaboration between UC Merced, Central California Regional Obesity Prevention Program, and several regional community stakeholders will create a formal CBPR initiative to address obesity disparities among Latinos, with a focus on families and multigenerational households (common for Latinos in SJV). Traditional working partnerships, advisory boards, and conference and meeting methods will be blended with emerging CBPR approaches such as Open Space, World Cafes, Photovoice, and social media to establish a strong and sustainable network of action research that is culturally and linguistically appropriate Training and support will aim to improve the capacity of both community and academic partners to work synergistically to establish an action plan to use CBPR to address Latino obesity disparities. Advisory, planning, and action teams will be established with community-academic representatives and across community sectors (e.g.., faith, business, education) and generations. The project will produce sustainable community-academic relationships and infrastructure, and initial proposals for CBPR projects on Latino obesity/overweight disparities in the SJV.
Nationwide, Latinos of all age groups disproportionately experience overweight and obesity morbidity and mortality. The project will produce sustainable community-academic relationships and infrastructure, and initial proposals for CBPR projects on Latino obesity/overweight disparities in the SJV.