Familias Sanas y Activas/ Healthy and Active Families


Familias Sanas y Activas or Healthy and Active Families is the Core Research Project for the San Diego Prevention Research Center (SDPRC). It is a 5-year, renewable physical activity and health promotion study in South San Diego County. The primary goal of the program is to prevent obesity through the promotion of physical activity and other healthy behaviors in the Latino community. A secondary goal is to evaluate the effectiveness and potential sustainability of the program in the community.

This program utilizes the community health worker model or promotora model in the Latino community. We recruit and train community members to be exercise instructors and teach healthy lifestyle classes. The program provides promotoras with equipment and a stipend to participate in personal capacity building activities. In turn these promotoras volunteer their time twice a week to give free exercise classes to community members. The primary aim of the study is to increase physical activity and improve health outcomes in 400 community residents over a one-year period.

Community members who choose to participate in the research study participate in a 10-session healthy lifestyle course that includes topics such as self-esteem, nutrition, sleep, emotional health, weight control, among other topics. Study participants take part in an evaluation that includes a survey and measures their height, weight, waist circumference, blood pressure, strength, flexibility, and fitness.

Currently the program supports 21 promotoras, who teach 47 exercise classes in San Ysidro and Chula Vista every week at schools, recreation centers, and community centers. Classes are designed for adults, however, children 12 and over are welcome to participate with their parents.

Research results from the first three years of the study were published in 2012 in the American Journal of Public Health. Findings showed that participation in the program improved systolic blood pressure, waist circumference, fitness and flexibility. Participants also reported a reduction in symptoms of depression, increased use of community resources and community support for physical activity.

San Diego State University, Graduate School of Public Health, Department of Exercise and Nutritional Sciences, Department of Sociology, Department of Psychology
University of California, San Diego
Moore’s Cancer Center
San Ysidro Health Center
City of San Diego Parks and Recreation
City of Chula Vista Recreation Department
Chula Vista Community Collaborative
Casa Familiar
San Ysidro School District
County of San Diego, Health and Human Services Agency
MAAC Project

Project Web Address

 Facebook Page

Contact Information
Marisa Molina, MPH
Research Core Project Manager
T: (619) 594-2965
E: marisa.molina@mail.sdsu.edu

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