Presents Muevete on Cinco de Mayo Day to Reduce Obesity in Children of Migrant Workers

Sunday, 8 November 2015: 4:00 PM

Patricia R. Messmer, PhD, MSN, MA, BSN, RN-BC, FAAN
Yolanda Nitti, MSN, RN
Giannina Santos, DNP, MSN, ARNP
Yamina Alvarez, DNP, RN
Benjamín León School of Nursing, Miami Dade College, Miami, FL, USA

Introduction: In July, 2014, Mexico restricted food marketing to children since Mexico is the biggest +per-capitala consumer of Coca-Cola and 3rd largest markert by revenue for Pepsi (Wall Street Journal, 8/22/2014). Television ads were banned on cereals like Fruit Loops and Frosted Flakes between 2:30pm and 7:30pm on weekdays and 7:30am and 7:30pm on weekends ( Mexico is fast becoming a leader in the fight against obesity with other countries like the United Kingdom, Norway and Quebec, CandaChildhood obesity is widely recognized as a major public health problem of global significance (Onis, 2014). Treating obesity-related illness (25% of Florida population) is $6,675,940 with Latino children at a greater risk of obesity with prevalence increasing over time (Wikley, eta al, 2014).  Obese Miami-Dade County children (20%) are more likely to develop Diabetes Type 2 and cardiovascular disease (RWJ & NCLS, 2012).  National Association of Hispanic Nurses (NAHN) Miami Chapter participated (2013-2014) in Muevete USA™ Project to reduce Hispanic children obesity (Milan, 2011). Coca-Cola Foundation funded the program in partnership with Let’s Move ( and weight management programs (Brown et al, 2014). However children in Migrant workers in South Florida are more obese due to eating habits and finances and are exposed to the ban of TV ads.

Purpose: To determine if presenting Mexican TV ads and an educational program on nutrition, labels, physical activity and exercise can increase Mexican migrant workers children’s knowledge and attitude of obesity.

Methodology: A descriptive exploratory research design conducted in a clinic for children of Migrant workers in south Florida. Mexican children listened to Mexican TV ads, completed five pre/post tests= 15 questions - “My Plate”; “Food Label”; “Physical Activity and Exercise” “Healthy Snacks”  and “Goal Setting”. Content validity was established. Community Health ASN & RN-BSN students participated in Muevete USA™ during Cinco de Mayo Day. Students, received 10 community hours for designing posters and promoting healthy habits for 25 children (4-15); taking food cutouts, making plates with appropriate portions, nutritional requirements and reading labels. Healthy snacks were served. Each child received a jumping rope along with exercises and games. A FDA representative taught hand washing techniques.

Results: Over 357 Hispanic children participated over two years in two different sites; There were 100 children at the 1st site 1st year and 132 2nd year and 125 children at 2nd site in the 2nd year. Hispanic children ranged in age 4-16, mean age 9.4 at 1st site while it was mean age of 8.1 at 2nd site ranging from kindergarten to 9th grade. There were equal number Blacks and Hispanics with lower number of Caucasians at the 1st site while at the 2nd site, there were predominately Hispanics with more Caucasians than Blacks.  There were more males at both sites. Mean number of questions correct out of 15 (pretest) was 9.4 and increased to 10.58 at posttest. children ranged in age 4-12; M for pretest was 9.4 increasing to 10.58 posttest with 13.62% change at 1st site and Mean for pretest at 2nd site M pretest was 8.33 increasing to 9.45 with 13% change.  Higher scores correlated with older children pre to posttest.  Children of  Mexican migrant worker’s (25) participated on Cinco de Mayo Day ranging in age 4-12; M for pretest was 8.0, increasing to 9.0 posttest with 10% change.  

Discussion: Mexican children listened to the Mexican TV ads and understood nutrition facts labels, identified food handling, daily portions of fruits, vegetables, grains, dairy, protein and drew a plate with food portions ( They exercised with a jumping rope, did hand washing techniques.  Parents received nutrition classes. Most missed question was-“How much Sodium is in this entire food product?” per food label. Sodium-440 mg; 4 servings = 1760mg. 

Conclusion: Mexican children loved watching Mexican TV ads, jumping rope, eating healthy snacks and exercising. They understood the need to wash their hands and learned to overcome and confront childhood obesity. This program helps to reduce obesity for Mexican children, decreasing the obesity level and reducing the associated healthcare costs.