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Niños Sanos, Familia Sana: Mexican immigrant study protocol for a multifaceted CBPR intervention to combat childhood obesity in two rural California towns

Adela de la Torre1, Banafsheh Sadeghi2, Richard D Green3, Lucia L Kaiser4, Yvette G Flores1, Carlos F Jackson1, Ulfat Shaikh5, Linda Whent1 and Sara E Schaefer6*

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Chicana/o Studies, University of California, Davis, One Shields Avenue, Davis, CA 95616, USA

2 Department of Internal Medicine, School of Medicine, University of California, Davis, 4150 V Street, PSSB Suite 2400, Sacramento, CA 95817, USA

3 Department of Agricultural & Resource Economics, University of California, Davis, One Shields Avenue, Davis, CA 95616, USA

4 Department of Nutrition, University of California, Davis, One Shields Avenue, Davis, CA 95616, USA

5 Department of Pediatrics, School of Medicine, University of California, Davis, 2516 Stockton Blvd, Suite 340, Sacramento, CA 95817, USA

6 Foods for Health Institute, 2141 RMI North, University of California, Davis, CA 95616, USA

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BMC Public Health 2013, 13:1033  doi:10.1186/1471-2458-13-1033

Published: 31 October 2013



Overweight and obese children are likely to develop serious health problems. Among children in the U.S., Latino children are affected disproportionally by the obesity epidemic. Niños Sanos, Familia Sana (Healthy Children, Healthy Family) is a five-year, multi-faceted intervention study to decrease the rate of BMI growth in Mexican origin children in California’s Central Valley. This paper describes the methodology applied to develop and launch the study.


Investigators use a community-based participatory research approach to develop a quasi-experimental intervention consisting of four main components including nutrition, physical activity, economic and art-community engagement. Each component’s definition, method of delivery, data collection and evaluation are described. Strategies to maintain engagement of the comparison community are reported as well.


We present a study methodology for an obesity prevention intervention in communities with unique environmental conditions due to rural and isolated location, limited infrastructure capacity and limited resources. This combined with numerous cultural considerations and an unstable population with limited exposure to researcher expectations necessitates reassessment and adaptation of recruitment strategies, intervention delivery and data collection methods. Trial registration # NCT01900613.

Trial registration


Multi-faceted intervention; Community-based participatory research; Latino health; Childhood obesity prevention