Preventing Obesity in AA/NHPI Populations

Project details:

Strong Cultures, Healthy Children: Exploring cultural strengths in raising healthy children in Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander communities

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) wanted to understand cultural issues that contributed to the raising of healthy children and healthy communities. The goal of the project was to establish a culturally grounded, community-based, and informed framework for building and sustaining advocacy practices and networks for promoting child wellness in Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander (AA and NHPI) communities. Research was conducted with five ethnic communities in seven sites nationally including three in California. LTG designed the research and the guides for data collection. A total of 56 discussion groups were held in which parents came together to talk about their experiences in working to raise fully well children in poor communities; LTG recruited the participants, conducted the groups, managed the data, and conducted the analysis. This project was intended to contribute to the limited ethnic-specific data and information related to obesity, its related illnesses, and risk factors. It was also intended to provide information that would allow early childhood obesity in AA and NHPI communities to be understood in context in order to understand the disparities and associated barriers to leading healthy lives, and which make it difficult to address those inequities. The project yielded findings on three levels: (a) methodological adjustments made in working with AA and NHPI communities, (b) understandings of cultural values that support raising healthy children, and, (c) challenges parents face in raising healthy children and means of supporting healthy behaviors and destigmatizing cultural eating patterns.


Project info:

  • The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF)