Hispanic health has been in the news recently as General Mills has started the second year of their Hispanic nutrition program, Mente Sana en Cuerpo Sano (Sound Mind in Sound Body). The program provides practical advice to Hispanic families looking to eat healthy, while preserving their food traditions. Meanwhile, Oldways, a national food issues think tank, is celebrating Latino Nutrition Month until October 15th, with bilingual nutrition materials and a “Latin American Food Pyramid.”
Oldways and General Mills have tailored their messages to fit the Hispanic culture. Other companies that want to reach out to Hispanics on health issues similarly should keep in mind cultural and social factors. It’s important to be aware of the key role Hispanic women play in family health, and the challenges to eating healthy, such as the high prices of organic and fresh produce. Likewise, companies promoting adult exercise need to consider the time commitments of Hispanic families.
Some studies have suggested that Hispanic women think of themselves as responsible for the health of their family. In a study done by Accent Marketing of women’s opinions on health, Hispanic women spoke about their health using the word “we” rather than “me.” They put their own health in the context of their children and husband, and the common challenges facing them all.