About the Initiative
- In partnership with the University of Southern California, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, Los Angeles Unified School District, and Volunteers of East Los Angeles (VELA) and several other community collaborators, the goal of the Center for Population Health and Health Disparities is to reduce cardiovascular disease risk among Latinos in East Los Angeles, where 96 percent of the population is of Mexican or Central American ancestry and which experiences higher rates of obesity-related chronic diseases, including heart disease, diabetes, hypertension and stroke, especially in comparison to residents in other areas of Los Angeles.
- Two projects at the Center are the Home Makeovers and the Corner Store Makeovers projects.
- This project is an intensive home-environment intervention involving families in which one member is at a high risk for cardiovascular disease and is enrolled in a local diabetes-care clinic serving low-income patients.
- The intervention will include re-engineering the home to encourage consumption of more fruits and vegetables, to root out high-sodium and processed foods, and to reduce television watching.
- Participants will also be encouraged to frequent the East Los Angeles Farmers Market and select corner stores featuring fruits and vegetables.
CORNER STORE MAKEOVERS IN EAST LOS ANGELES
- This large five year project entails social environmental, educational and social marketing activities to improve access to fruits and vegetables in East Los Angeles.
- To address food access disparities in East LA, the project will 'make over' four corner stores, a common venue for food purchasing. The Center will partner with store owners to expand offerings of fresh fruits and vegetables and other healthy food, increase healthy food marketing in stores, and improve the stores' visibility in the community.
- The project will also partner with youth at a local high school to create and distribute outreach and education materials for community members about healthy food purchasing, preparation and eating.
By partnering with both stores and the community, the goal of the corner store makeover project is to make over not only the stores themselves, but also to expand the market for healthy food in East LA.
- The primary goal of the home makeovers is to reduce vascular stiffness, an early-in-life biomarker of cardiovascular risk.