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Faithful Families: A Catalyzer of Healthier Families!

According to the New Jersey’s health improvement and disease prevention plan and agenda (Health NJ 2020), the prevalence of obesity between 2015 and 2016 was 39.8%, affecting 93.3 million of U.S. adults. What’s more, some of the leading causes of preventable death, such as heart disease, stroke, and diabetes, are obesity-related conditions. Hispanic adults had the higher prevalence of obesity (47.0%). The pattern among Hispanic women and Hispanic men in New Jersey was similar to the overall adult population with 50.6% and 43.1% respectively.[1]

Through the Faithful Families program, and with the support of Atlantic Health System, the Morris County Organization for Hispanic Affairs (MCOHA) is fighting obesity and moving the Latino community toward good health. The program was recently completed at the Dover International Center for the Family (CIF). In this faith community, we were able to complete six classes to encourage individuals and families (114 participants) to change their behaviors and set goals for healthy eating and physical activity. The participants learned how to plan, shop, prepare and eat healthy meals, discovered healthy recipes, explored easy ways to be active, and talked about the connection between food, physical activity, and faith.

MCOHA wants to take this opportunity to thank Pastors Edwin and Angie Blas for their support and for their commitment to share health information and motivate fitness in meetings and church bulletins and provide more water in all activities. They are also considering the installation of a Tower Garden (aeroponic growing system) to grow vegetables, herbs, and fruits. This system is perfect for this faith community since they do not have enough space for a community garden. With the implementation of these policy and environmental changes, they are sending a message that health is important and can be improved. Together, we can reduce obesity among the Hispanic community by promoting healthy eating and active living.

[1] CDC National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) data brief, https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/databriefs/db288.pdf

About the Grantee

Morris County Organization for Hispanic Affairs (MCOHA)

MCOHA helps improve the lives of the Hispanic and low- income residents of Morris County and surrounding communities by providing direct social services, education, and client advocacy. Our vision is to inspire hope and community integration and to help build a community that promotes cultural heritage while ensuring the health and well-being of the individuals and families that we serve.