What is Muevete USA™?
The National Association of Hispanic Nurses (NAHN) Muevete USA™ Project is a NAHN educational program developed to reduce childhood and adolescent obesity in selected locations throughout the United States. While Latino/Hispanic children are the focus, the program is open to all children regardless of ethnic background.
Muevete USA™ was inspired by First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move campaign.
Funded in 2011, 2012 and 2013 by generous grants from the Coca-Cola Foundation, NAHN started the project as a pilot in 2011 with five Chapters in four U.S. states. Past NAHN President Norma Martinez-Rogers, PhD, RN, FAAN was the Project Director.
The full-implementation of this projects started in 2012 and it is now in place in fifteen locations. It has also extended participation to not only children, but also their parents, custodians and relatives. NAHN’s Past President Angie Millan, DNP, RN, FAAN has been the Project Director since 2012.
The project uses a Train-the-Trainer approach and features five lesson plans on the USDA My Plate,the importance of exercise, how to read food Labels, choosing healthy snack options, and the lifestyle changes needed to improve self-esteem, body-image, and empower the participants.
Why Muevete USA™?
Obesity is a nationwide epidemic, a leading and fastest-growing cause of disease and death in the USA.
Obesity may lead to metabolic syndrome, a combination of medical disorders which includes diabetes mellitus, type-2 diabetes, high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol, high triglyceride levels. It also causes sleep apnea, certain type of cancer, and osteoarthritis.
Excessive dietary calories, lack of physical activity, and genetic susceptibility are some factors leading to obesity. Other factors that may contribute to obesity are the body’s genetic make-up, endocrine disorders, medications or psychiatric illness. As a result, it reduces life expectancy. In children, obesity results in low self-esteem and depression.
Seventy percent to 80% of children who are obese have the risk of becoming obese adults. According to the Office of Minority Health, HHS, Mexican American children were 1.6 times more likely to be overweight as Non-Hispanic White Children according to 2009 – 2010 statistics.
Obesity is completely preventable. Dietary changes (reducing consumption of foods high in fat and sugars and increasing intake of fiber-rich food) and physical exercise are the mainstays and cornerstones of treatment for obesity and maintaining a healthy weight.