Date of Award


Degree Name

Nursing (D.N.P.)


College of Nursing

First Advisor

Dianne Slager, DNP, FNP.BC

Second Advisor

Ken Van Beek, LMSW

Third Advisor

Meridell Gracias, DNP, MSN, M.Ed


Background: Obesity is an epidemic in the United States which causes numerous chronic conditions and disproportionally impacts underserved populations. The removal of barriers that prevent active lifestyles such as unaffordable facilities and inaccessibility are of primary importance in promoting a healthy lifestyle.

Objectives: Collaboration with community organizations to increase access to culturally congruent nutrition and exercise classes for underserved Latino/Hispanic patients of a Midwestern safety-net clinic to reduce obesity, increase physical activity, and improve dietary habits.

Methods: Assessment of current practices revealed the need for project development. Six-week nutrition education class and exercise classes were held for eligible patients which evaluated average weight, nutrition knowledge, physical activity, dietary habits during pre and post-implementation. Program satisfaction was also assessed.

Results: Post-implementation data resulted in high satisfaction rates, increased physical activity, increased nutrition education, and improved diet quality indicators. There was a small increase in average weight.

Conclusion: Through accessible, affordable, and culturally-congruent nutrition education and exercise classes, patients showed an increase in healthy habits and knowledge which can improve health in the long-term.

Implications: The development of a program which reduces barriers for underserved populations has been shown to be well received and effective in improving lifestyle habits.

Additional Files

C. Salas PP.pdf (943 kB)