Background

Latino children in immigrant families have among the highest rates of childhood overweight and obesity of any racial or ethnic group in the US. Availability of intensive healthcare-based interventions is limited and can be impractical for low-income families facing barriers to accessing healthcare.

Methods

Leadership of a clinical and research center focused on Latino health based at an academic medical center identified and recruited multidisciplinary stakeholders to design a community-based weight management intervention. The immigrant community identified for the project has few established community leaders and organizations, limited health English proficiency and limited health literacy of community stakeholders.A community-based committee was selected to co-lead the project and assist in recruiting key community partners.

Results

The Stakeholder Network consists of Latino patients and their families, Latino-serving community organizations leaders, healthcare system leaders and clinical and research experts in pediatric Latino health. Stakeholders have convened to identify family and community assets and barriers to implementation of a weight management intervention. Assets identified by community partners include family cohesion and availability of recreational space whereas key barriers are the gaps in resources such as access to obesity intervention programs in the community and lack of neighborhood safety.

Conclusions

A diverse group of stakeholders has been convened to determine the essential elements of a feasible and acceptable intervention addressing childhood obesity among Latino families. Structural inequities faced by community partners have affected intervention development. Investing in skill building of community partners to address limited health literacy and language barriers, while partnering with healthcare systems leaders, may realize adequate return on investment through creation of aneffective, sustainable, and community-centered obesity intervention.