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Signature programs and special projects

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Latino Fathers Promoting Healthy Youth Behaviors

Padres Preparados, Jóvenes Saludables

Family Development staff are leading a five-year project to prevent obesity among Latino adolescents. This project has received nearly $1 million in new grant funding from the National Institute for Food and Agriculture (NIFA) through the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI) Childhood Obesity Prevention Challenge Area.

Preliminary Results Released

To adapt the Padres Informados, Jóvenes Preparados curriculum using a CBPR approach, the team conducted focus groups with Latino fathers, mothers, and youth. Information from these focus groups were then used to inform the curriculum development process.

​Download a summary of the results in English: Latino Fathers Promoting Healthy Youth Behaviors: Focus Group Results (PDF).

Also available in Spanish: Latino Fathers Promoting Healthy Youth Behaviors: Resultados de los grupos de enfoque (PDF).

The Project

The Latino Fathers Promoting Healthy Youth Behaviors project aims to prevent obesity among Latino adolescents by engaging families, especially fathers or other male caregivers in the household (foster parents, uncles, grandparents, or older brothers), and their child (10–14 years old) in a culturally- and linguistically-appropriate prevention program.


The Approach

This project adopts a community-based participatory research (CBPR) approach. Extension staff will actively partner with community organizations serving Latino populations in both urban and rural areas in Minnesota. All stakeholders will contribute to developing a community-based obesity prevention curriculum for Latino families.

The curriculum will be adapted from an evidence-based parenting curriculum titled Padres Informados, Jóvenes Preparados. This eight-week program has shown to be effective in improving Latino parenting practices for preventing youth substance abuse. See peer-reviewed publications about the curriculum here: Padres Informados.

The adapted program will focus on improving youth energy balance-related behaviors by increasing parent involvement in positive parenting practices. The positive parenting practices include providing supporting environment for healthy eating and physical activity, setting expectations, and role modeling. The energy balance-related behaviors include the following activities.

The Timeline

This five-year grant started in March 2016 and will continue until February 2021.

Years 1–2

Years 2–4

Year 5

The Team

The multidisciplinary team working on this project includes faculty from several different departments at the University; Extension educators from Health and Nutrition, Family Relations, and Family Resource Management; SNAP-Ed educators; and Latino community leaders.

Primary Investigator


Community Partners


Extension Staff

Related resources

Family Matters: Padres Preparados​ —​ Catch up with the latest news about this project on our blog.

USDA Announces $3.8 Million in Grants and Additional $7 Million Available for Critical Research to Prevent Childhood ObesityNational Institute of Food and Agriculture — Read NIFA’s May 19 press release.

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