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Eat Well Dine Well - A health awareness program for Latino families

The Issue

Poor diet and physical inactivity can contribute to obesity, cancer, cardiovascular disease and diabetes. Latinos have 21 percent greater obesity prevalence than whites, according to researchers from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. More than 10 percent of Latinos have been diagnosed with diabetes, while 7 percent of whites and 8 percent of Asians suffer from the disease, according to the American Diabetes Association. Chronic diseases can result in disability and decrease the quality of life for family members.

What Has ANR Done?

UC Cooperative Extension in Sacramento County provides "Eat Well Dine Well," a health awareness and prevention program designed to empower individuals to make behavior changes that reduce the risk of chronic health-related illnesses. The program provides participants opportunities to:
  • Increase understanding about healthy versions of familiar foods that are easy and quick to prepare, inexpensive, and tasty
  • Practice cooking techniques that substitute low-fat, low-sugar and low-sodium ingredients to make recipes healthier
  • Engage in physical activity as a component of healthy living
The weekly three-part workshop series are held at various community-based agency sites that provide services to low-income Latino families.

The Payoff

Latinos adopt healthier lifestyles

The average yearly clientele participation is approximately 167 low-income adults; 93 percent of the participants are Latino. Evaluations completed by the participants before and after participating indicated:
  • An 88 percent increase in participants making changes in recipes to make them lower in fat, sodium or sugar
  • 76 percent increase in participants engaging in moderate physical activity on a daily basis
  • 94 percent increase in knowledge of the importance of consumption of adequate amounts of fruits and vegetables, and the practice of portion size control strategies to improve diet.

Clientele Testimonial

“I will begin eating healthy and eat more vegetables and increase my daily physical activity and control my portions.”
“I will encourage my husband to eat healthier and exercise with me more.”
“Reduce the amount of fat that I eat; drink water in place of sodas.”
“I will be more aware of how much salt and fats I (and my family) eat on a regular basis. I will choose healthier options.”


Supporting Unit: Sacramento County

Yvonne Nicholson, (916) 875-6722, ynicholson@ucdavis.edu