UC-Davis Initiative Aims To Improve Wellness of Latino Farmworkers
Researchers at UC-Davis have launched a new five-year initiative aimed at improving the health and wellness of immigrant Latino farmworkers, the Salinas Californian reports (Taylor, Salinas Californian, 5/13).
According to a UC-Davis release, 78% of Latinos are overweight or obese and the prevalence of diabetes among Latinos in the U.S. is more than twice the rate among non-Latino whites (UC-Davis release, 5/12).
Marc Schenker, director of the UC Migration and Health Research Center and the Western Center for Agricultural Health and Safety, said, "Latino farmworkers harvest much of our fruit and vegetables, yet they face obesity and diabetes rates much higher than the general population" (Salinas Californian, 5/13).
Details of the Initiative
The program is funded by more than $3 million from the National Institute of Diabetes, Digestive and Kidney Diseases.
It is being conducted through a collaboration between UC-Davis and:
- UC-Berkeley's Health Initiative of the Americas; and
- Reiter Affiliated Companies, a California berry grower (UC-Davis release, 5/12).
Specifically, the study will focus on ranches in Salinas and Watsonville, but researchers plan to expand the focus areas in coming years (Salinas Californian, 5/13).
At participants' worksites, the program will offer:
- Educational nutrition programs; and
- Exercise activities, such as dance classes taught by community health workers.
The program aims to improve and evaluate health outcomes, as well as produce economic benefits for employers.
Schenker said, "We hope that the economic benefits -- which we anticipate will be demonstrated and quantified through this study -- will help convince other companies in the agricultural industry to adopt similar programs" (UC-Davis release, 5/12).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.