July 1, 2013

Salsa-on-the-MapThe National Latino Children’s Institute, a leader in educating Latino communities on strategies to overcome and fight obesity, presented its award winning program, Salsa, Sabor y Salud, at the 4th Annual Salud America! Summit, in San Antonio, TX.

Today, 38.2 percent of Latino children, the largest, youngest, and fastest growing segment of the youth population are obese or overweight. With young Latinos comprising 33.5 percent of the next generation of workers, this is a catastrophic situation with implications and huge health care costs into the future.

“Research, policy and practice must go hand in hand in order to create change,” said Josephine Garza, executive director of the National Latino Children’s Institute. “Salsa, Sabor y Salud teaches families how to lead a healthy lifestyle by allowing them to incorporate healthy changes into their daily lives without trying to erase cultural foods or practices.”

Salsa, Sabor y Salud, an entirely bilingual healthy lifestyles program for Latino families with children ages 3 to 12, uses traditions and cultural values as the foundation to convey information on nutrition and physical fitness. It responds to the urgent need for prevention education that effectively connects with Latinos.

The National Latino Children’s Institute was among a handful of national organizations invited to speak at the Salud America! Summit. The summit convened over 150 health agency representatives, advocacy groups, advocates, political leaders, researchers and health professionals to discuss the latest advancements and needs in solving Latino childhood obesity.

NLCI recently held a Salsa, Sabor y Salud Facilitator training where People of Color Network, and Family involvement Center from Phoenix, AZ, Health and Human Services from Houston, TX as well as Neighbors in Need of Services from San Benito, TX joined in the movimiento.

The two-day training provided each participant with in-depth understanding of how to reach and teach Latino communities healthy lifestyle messages and activities that lead to healthy habits. They join more than 1,000 facilitators and 400 organizations in 28 states, DC & Puerto Rico who are trained in implementing the program.

Comments from the participants at the training included:

Thank you! ¡Gracias! This training was fun and very informative. I can’t wait to take my families the information and share!”

“I believe that this curriculum will be extremely beneficial to our community. The information and resources established are all great. It has been a great experience.”

“(Aprendí) que es mas fácil hacer cambios en nuestras vidas, con juegos y divertirnos al mismo tiempo. Fue un curso muy completo. Todo me gusto.”

Salsa, Sabor y Salud is a healthy lifestyles initiative developed by the National Latino Children’s Institute to improve awareness of habits leading to better nutrition and increased physical activity for Latino families with children 12 and younger. Families participate actively in a series of eight sessions that reinforce the importance of achieving “energy balance” through healthier food choices and increased levels of physical activity.

NLCI will be hosting a Salsa Facilitator Training September 26-27 in San Antonio, TX.

For more information about the National Latino Children’s Institute and Salsa, Sabor y Salud contact us,



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