Promoting Health and wellness by Empowering Latino Youth and Community

ASPIRA & HOLA Health Program

ASPIRA and Hispanic Organization for Leadership and Action (HOLA) plan to work together to promote a healthy lifestyle in the Prince William County area. The program will consist of a video contest, media campaign, and the National Diabetes Prevention Program. For more information on each of these areas, visit the links on the page.

The Obesity Epidemic

The Statistics

The prevalence of obesity and being overweight among the Hispanic population is at an alarming rate. According to Office of Minority Health (OMH) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Hispanic Americans were 1.2 times more likely to be obese than non-Hispanic whites and had the second highest rate of obesity in the country (42.5%) (OMH, 2011; CDC, 2014). Unfortunately, obesity rates for Hispanic youth are just as distressing. According to the CDC, Hispanic youth have the highest rates of obesity with a rate of 22.4%, compared to 20.2% for non-Hispanic blacks and 14.7% for non-Hispanic whites (CDC, 2011-2012). 


Health Risks and Consequences

    Obesity is a major concern due to the serious health consequences it may bring. These risks include (CDC, 2011) :

  • Cardiovascular diseases such as coronary heart disease, stroke, and high blood pressure
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Developing breast or colon cancer
  • High cholesterol and/or triglyceride levels
  • Sleep Apnea
  • Respiratory problems
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Infertility
  • Mental Health Problems
  • Higher expenses to pay for health care

Why Latinos?    

    Possible explanations for the high prevalence of obesity among minority groups were reviewed in by Dion Begay in 2005. Begay discusses how fast food restaurants are strategically placed in low-income neighborhoods in which minorities typically reside in. A study by Ming Wen and Thomas N. Maloney from 2011 found other factors, such as the failure to provide a health-promoting environment and the trend of passing unhealthy habits, to be other possible factors. For this reason, it is imperative more health education is available to these Latino communities to increase their awareness of obesity. Other significant factors include the lack of physical activity and improper nutrition among Hispanics, which is discussed further in the Physical Activity & Nutrition tabs.


What now?

    It is never too late to become in charge of your health. Incorporate more physical activity into your daily routine and consume a more nutritious diet. For more information and resources please download our program brochure.