NAHN’s Muevete (Move) USA™ Project Makes an Impact Nationwide

NAHN’s Muevete (Move) USA™ Project Makes an Impact Nationwide

There’s a movement that’s spreading across the nation, and it’s called “Muevete USA.” It’s a project that brings together nurses and nursing student volunteers, low-income Hispanic children, and community organizations to learn about the importance of healthy eating. 

Muevete (Move) USA, a program designed and executed by the National Association of Hispanic Nurses (NAHN) community, is possible thanks to a $150,000 grant from The Coca-Cola Foundation. It draws inspiration from First Lady Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move” campaign. Muevete USA seeks to equip nurses with the skills and passion to short-circuit the pervasive cycle of childhood and adolescent obesity in the Hispanic community.

Since its implementation in 2011, the five-lesson educational program—teaching the basics of healthy eating, through preparing healthy snacks and exercise activities—has gathered momentum nationwide, having doubled in both participation and enthusiasm in 2013.

“The 2013 NAHN Muevete USA obesity prevention program was exceptional,” says Project Director Angie Millan, RN, MSN, NP, CNS, FAAN. “First, we doubled the number of instructors trained and the number of children who participated. Secondly, the program was implemented in 20 NAHN chapters throughout the United States, an increase of five chapters from the previous year.

“The most popular part of the program continues to be the five lessons, where the children get to interact with the instructors and participate in hands-on activities,” Millan added.

In 2012, the program expanded its reach to not only children, but also to their parents, custodians, and relatives, and saw increased community partnerships, which emphasized the grassroots focus of the project.

In Chicago, nursing student volunteers taught children a specialized dance routine to the beat of Latin music at the Boys & Girls Club in the Little Village neighborhood. In Phoenix, children gathered at the Friendly House where they learned techniques in self-defense and got their hearts pumping in relay races and obstacle courses. In Washington, DC, children and their families learned callisthenic and aerobic exercises at the Latin American Youth Center & Little Stars Camp.

The NAHN chapters developed YouTube videos as part of the project. Visit to watch the videos.

“We are delighted to once again partner with NAHN and this important health lifestyle training program,” says Frank Ros, Vice President, Hispanic Strategies for Coca-Cola North America. “This program is another step towards helping to create healthy, sustainable communities.”

“We are so proud of our student members, as well as the experienced NAHN nurses who came together with children and their families in low-income Hispanic communities to make this project a huge success,” remarked NAHN President Jose Alejandro, PhD, RN-BC, MBA, CCM, FACHE.  “NAHN wants to thank The Coca-Cola Foundation for making this project possible.”

From New York City to Rio Grande Valley to Los Angeles, NAHN chapters, Hispanic nurses and nursing students, along with children and their families, continue to move to the beat of a healthier life.

National Association of Hispanic Nurses Targets Childhood Obesity

National Association of Hispanic Nurses Targets Childhood Obesity

Children and teens across the nation are learning lifestyle changes to keep a healthy weight thanks to an initiative of The National Association of Hispanic Nurses (NAHN) Muevete USA™ Project.

Started in 2011, the aim of the educational project is to raise awareness in the Hispanic community about ways to reduce childhood and adolescent obesity, which is completely preventable. Obesity is the fastest-growing cause of disease and death in the United States, and Hispanics face a greater risk, statistics show.

One in 8 preschoolers is obese in the United States, and it’s even more common in Hispanic and black kids. Obese children are more likely to become obese adults and suffer physical and mental health problems.

The program expanded this year to include families. Nurses teach participants how to make smarter eating decisions by choosing healthy snacks, limiting serving sizes and reading labels. Nurses also combat childhood obesity by encouraging other lifestyle changes, such as increased physical activity to improve confidence and foster a healthy body image. 

Interactive workshops feature the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s My Plate program, healthful snacks and fun family-friendly activities that get everyone moving, such as Zumba, hula hoops and jumping rope. While Latino and Hispanic children are the target audience, children from any ethnic background can participate in the program offered in schools and other community sites.

The good news is programs such as Muevete USA matter.  Recent data released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicate that rates of obesity in early childhood may be dropping for the first time in some states.

Inspired by First Lady Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move!” campaign, the program is funded by a grant from the Coca-Cola Foundation. The project has expanded from five locations to 15. Participating cities this year include: Corpus Christi; Denver; Hartford; Los Angeles; Miami; Philadelphia; San Diego; Phoenix; and, Washington.

While we know that obese youth are more likely to become obese adults, education can make a difference. Nurses in programs like Muevete USA help to short-circuit this pervasive cycle.