Web Forum

Why Obesity Is Important to the Latino Community
Tuesday, April 16, 2013 | 10:30 AM to 12:00 PM Pacific

Para Español, haga clic aquí.

The obesity epidemic is affecting communities across the U.S., as more than one third of all American adults are obese. The Latino community is especially hard hit, developing weight-related health conditions—such as heart disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes—at high rates. They also have the lowest rate of insurance to cover the costs of health care.

Join Dialogue4Health for the first part in a Web Forum series focusing on the Latino community and obesity and overweight prevention in the post-election climate. These Web Forums build off the series of HBO’s Weight of the Nation Web Forums Dialogue4Health conducted in the spring of 2012. This exciting Web Forum will focus on public awareness and community action around the obesity epidemic, and discuss its cultural, socioeconomic, and environmental aspects. It will feature simultaneous translation from English to Spanish so that participants of both language groups across the nation can listen in.

During the Web Forum, presenters will:

  • Outline the epidemiology of obesity in accessible terms, and the underlying factors contributing to the obesity epidemic;
  • Elaborate upon the link between obesity prevention and other social issues;
  • Discuss the role of community empowerment through leadership and capacity building for policy advocacy and systems change; and
  • Provide examples of how Latino communities are coming together to create healthier built, food, beverage, social and community environments.

The Weight of the Nation™ documentary is part of a public education initiative addressing the national obesity epidemic and proposing solutions that communities can put into practice. Copyright © 2012 KFHP, Inc. All rights reserved. The Weight of the Nation™ is a licensed trademark of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, managed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Use of this trademark is not an endorsement by HHS or CDC of a particular company or organization. The Weight of the Nation™ is a presentation of HBO and the Institute of Medicine (IOM), in association with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the National Institutes of Health (NHI), and in partnership with the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation and Kaiser Permanente.






    Michael Rodriguez, MD, MPH
    Professor and Vice Chair for Research
    Department of Family Medicine
    David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA
    Los Angeles, CA

    Michael Rodriguez, MD, MPHDr. Michael A. Rodríguez is Professor and Vice Chair for Research in the Department of Family Medicine at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, Director of the UCLA Blum Center on Poverty and Health in Latin America. His research activities focus on ethnic/racial health care and patient-provider communication of sensitive issues. He is a leading researcher and policy expert in the areas of quality of healthcare for multiethnic populations across the age spectrum, workforce diversity and intimate partner violence. Dr. Rodríguez completed his undergraduate training at the UC Berkeley; received his medical degree from the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA; completed his residency from the UC San Francisco’s Family Medicine Residency Program; and received his Master of Public Health at the John Hopkins University School of Hygiene and Public Health. (http://healthsciences.ucla.edu/dgsom and http://fm.mednet.ucla.edu)

    Rosa Soto
    Regional Director
    California Center for Public Health Advocacy
    Oakland, CA

    Rosa SotoRosa Soto is the Regional Director for the California Center for Public Health Advocacy, which she joined at its inception. Through education, outreach and policy change, CCPHA works to raise awareness about critical public health issues and with community advocates to support physical activity and access to nutritious foods. As a first generation Latina, she knows what it's like to grow up in a family and community where eating healthy is a challenge - and she's seen first-hand the consequences of obesity and diabetes. (www.publichealthadvocacy.org)

    Genoveva Islas-Hooker, MPH
    Regional Program Director
    Central California Regional Obesity Prevention Program (CCROPP)
    Fresno, CA

     Genoveva Islas-Hooker, MPHGenoveva’s experience in public health spans over 20 years in both public and private sectors. Currently, she is the Regional Program Director of the Central California Regional Obesity Prevention Program (CCROPP). CCROPP efforts focus on building community leadership so that residents can be more effective in advocating for change and becoming more civically engaged. Genoveva grew up in rural communities of the San Joaquin Valley; her parents were farm laborers. She is the first in her family to attend college and graduate with an advanced degree. She earned a B.S. in Health Science with an emphasis in Community Health from California State University, Fresno and received a Masters in Public Health degree in Health Education and Promotion from Loma Linda University. (www.ccropp.org)


    George Flores, MD, MPH
    Program Manager
    The California Endowment 
    Oakland, CA

    George Flores, MD, MPHDr. Flores is a Program Manager for The California Endowment’s Healthy California Prevention team. His work focuses on grant-making to improve health and equity through community-based prevention and a health workforce for 21st century health system reform. His work aims to strengthen the public health system, primary care, and community outreach, along with cross-sector collaboration to address the social and environmental factors that shape health outcomes. Dr. Flores was recognized by the National Hispanic Medical Association as 2011 Physician of the Year for his work that addresses social and environmental inequities and the role of communities in advancing policy and systems change to improve health. His vision is for every community to be a healthy, safe, and supportive place to raise children, go to school, work, and play. (www.calendow.org)


The following documents are PDF versions of the speakers’ presentations and are intended to be used for reference only.

Flores/Why Obesity Is Important to the Latino Community

Rodriguez/Obesity in the Latino Community


Islas-Hooker/Better Safe Than Sorry



The following documents provide important background information that can enhance the Web Forum experience.


The following websites provide important background information that can enhance the Web Forum experience.

HBO: Weight of the Nation
Request a screening kit
Health Happens Here Twitter
Health Happens Here Facebook
Blog: Promising Strategies for Reducing Obesity in the Latino Community


Why Obesity Is Important to the Latino Community
Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Por Qué Es Importante la Obesidad para la Comunidad Latina
Martes, 16 de abril, 2013

Let’s Get Healthy with HBO’s ‘The Weight of the Nation
Thursday, July 12, 2012

Acting on the Weight of the Nation
Thursday, June 28, 2012

Taking on the Weight of the Nation
Tuesday, May 1, 2012


The organizations listed below have come together to sponsor this important effort:

Public Health Institute Logo Kaiser Permanente

Public Health Institute

Kaiser Permanente

The California Endowment Health Happens Here

The California Endowment

Health Happens Here


Latino Coalition for a Healthy California