Date of Award


Document Type

Independent Study

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Obesity is an epidemic in the United States (U.S.), affecting all ages, sexes, and racial or ethnic groups. Obesity has disproportionately impacted Hispanics and Hispanic youth have the highest rates when compared to their non-Hispanic ethnicities. To prevent the growing rates of obesity and the negative impacts it can have on an individual, family, and community, healthcare providers and community leaders need to identify the best strategies for obesity prevention among Hispanic youth. The family units of high importance in Hispanic cultures. This is where values are shared and accepted, and behaviors are developed and supported. Focusing on the family unit when looking to implement behavioral changes will offer the greatest chance of success and sustainability

An extensive literature search was conducted to identify the best practices, at the family level, to prevent obesity among Hispanic youth. Currently a limited amount of research has been completed, indicating more research is needed. In the literature available, three common themes were identified for interventions: education, physical activity, and education with physical activity. The results indicated educational interventions have been the most successful in reducing obesity among Hispanic youth while focusing on the family unit. This was evidenced by a reduction in body mass index (BMI) and behavior modifications. Education needs to start early in a child's growth and development and be easily adaptable into their everyday lives. In following these recommendations for best practice, our communities will be healthier places for all to grow and thrive