Obseity Prevention

African and Caribbean immigrant and refugee (ACIR) families in the U.S. experience health disparities related to cultural and linguistic barriers to accessing quality health care. The ACIR population also faces the childhood obesity problem prevalent in the U.S., and may be at increased risk due to traditional and cultural conceptions of body size, cooking methods, and increased accessibility at reduced cost of unhealthy foods such as oils and meats in comparison to their countries of origin.

Community health care organizations (CHCOs) like AFAHO serving ACIR families play a critical role in childhood obesity prevention through collaborations with caregivers and community and faith leaders. Through funding from the Johnson & Johnson Healthcare Foundation and the resulting community-academic partnership with Johns Hopkins University School of Public Health, AFAHO has been successful in providing nutrition education and physical fitness awareness to children and their caregivers in our target community and develop the in-house capacity to evaluate the program’s outcomes.