Date of Conferral



Doctor of Public Health (DrPH)


Public Health


Nicoletta M. Alexander


Youth obesity prevalence rates in the United States are trending down; however, for Hispanic youth, rates are increasing despite efforts toward a reduction. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the impact of a culturally focused intervention program on weight reduction of Hispanic youth age 2 to 19 through examination of body mass index (BMI) percentile outcomes comparing age, gender, distance to program, time in program, and season of enrollment. Review of literature supports ecological and cultural approaches requiring behavior modification tailored to family and community as successful in decreasing youth obesity. However, researchers have yet to establish how various variables impact intervention outcomes making it difficult to determine what aspects of the cultural approach is effective. The epidemiology triangle and the social cognitive theory approach were used to relate to findings. Use of retrospective clinical archival participant data dating from November 7, 2008 to February 23, 2015 was analyzed through the use of various statistical applications. The analyses of this study indicated that only one age variable had significant results. The category for age 8 to12 had a significantly higher change in BMI than the other groups (p <.05) . This research has the potential to contribute to social change since it reveals that interventions tailored for the 8-12 age group may significantly improve the effectiveness of the program in reducing BMI percentile, thus decreasing obesity rates and associated disease along with morbidity and mortality. This knowledge can benefit educators, community collaborative efforts, practitioners, and other researchers.