University of Arkansas, Fayetteville Division of Agriculture


The goal of this qualitative research project is to create a bilingual education tool to equip the participants of the English as a Second Language (EASL) class at the Elmdale Elementary School, in Springdale, Ark., to reduce the risk of childhood obesity in their children. Adults of Hispanic descent are at a high risk for developing obesity and so are their children. Children who are overweight and/or obese have a high risk of developing heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, and other health complications. As a side effect of the language barrier some Hispanics experience, it may be difficult for them to fully understand nutrition resources in English. A thorough review of the literature was conducted so that the content of the tool conveyed the evidence-based practice in the prevention of childhood obesity. Feedback from two focus groups of twelve adult Hispanic males and females was analyzed to design and validate the content of the tool and an accompanying assessment instrument. All interactions were conducted in English and in Spanish. The developed nutrition education tool is sensitive to language and cultural factors of the Hispanic community. This service-learning project is designed to provide Hispanic families with evidence-based nutrition information in order to reduce the risk of childhood obesity.