The Lower Rio Grande Valley (LRGV) southernmost region of Texas presents a unique environment for examining health disparities in an ethnic minority population from an ecological perspective. The ethnic composition of the region is majority Mexican American with this population accounting for well over 88% of the area's residents. This is also Texas' poorest region with the highest rate of unemployment and lowest median annual income. The LRGV is disproportionately affected by poor health outcomes with one of the highest prevalence rates of diabetes and obesity nationally. ? ? This submittal from the Center on Aging and Health (CoAH) at The University of Texas Pan American (UTPA) builds on strengths and resources within the community and long established community relationships that have been instrumental in implementing a broad array of programs and research within the LRGV, a community of identity, Six Specific Aims are proposed: 1. To formally organize a community pro-active health coalition with a commitment to meeting shared health concerns through a common vision that recognizes the need: a) to have a wide outreach, b) bring about contextual changes, and c) sustain itself beyond the period of active funding; 2. To employ focus group methodologies to explore multi level (individual, family and community) factors influencing physical activity and dietary habits of the adult LRGV Mexican American population with special emphasis on local theories and situations; 3. Plan the intervention methodology; 4. Conduct a pilot multi level community-based intervention; 5. Conduct a formative and substantive evaluation of the pilot intervention with special emphasis on assessing its community wide effectiveness and cost; 6. Estimate parameters required to properly design and power a community intervention to assess the effectiveness of the intervention. ? ?
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