- Guest Blog: Making a Difference through Community Support
Guest Blog: Making a Difference through Community Support
Angela Maria Arboleda
Vice President Government and Community Affairs
An active life doesn’t always equate to a healthy lifestyle. This is a reality for many Latinas who face demanding schedules coupled with increasing responsibilities, often times as both breadwinners and parents. Factors such as stress, diet trends, access to healthy (or unhealthy) food, and even cultural norms affect a person’s ability to develop, and maintain, habits that lead to healthy living. The data is telling: the Office of Minority Health reports that 78% of Mexican American women— which account for the largest share of U.S. Latinas— are overweight or obese, as compared to only 60.3% of the non-Hispanic white women. And, the increasing obesity rates are accompanied by health risks— diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and high blood pressure, just to name a few.
However, beyond obesity and chronic illness, self-esteem and self-worth often prove quite damaging, especially among women, including Latinas. At Herbalife, our members show time and time again that pursuing health and fitness as part of community or group, puts them on a direct path toward feeling and looking great. When armed with support and encouragement, an active, healthy lifestyle not only becomes more attainable, it also inspires others.
In that sense, Herbalife identifies with, and commends, the work Chicago-based Mujeres Latinas en Acción does to advocate for issues that make a difference in Latinas’ lives, such as health, and empower them through services that are reflective of their values and culture. One such program is Proyecto Juventud, an interdisciplinary after-school program and safe haven for children and teens to develop healthy behaviors early on for a more successful future. This comprehensive and hands-on program includes advocacy, psychological wellness, leadership, and health and family workshops.
“We want each individual to walk out of our doors with a sense of self-worth, dignity and leadership skills that enable them to make a difference in their own lives, as well as in the community,” said Maria S. Pesqueira, Mujeres Latinas en Acción CEO.
We believe that when healthy habits are developed at a young age, there is a much better chance that they will continue into adulthood. Therefore, Herbalife salutes Mujeres Latinas en Acción’s efforts to improve health and wellness of Chicago’s youth. The development of healthy, active lifestyles in Illinois and across the country represent an important contribution to the society of tomorrow.