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Food and Exercise Landscape of Maclovio Rojas

Learning Objectives

  • Be more informed about the availability of food in Maclovio Rojas 

  • Be able to use your understanding of the food landscape and availability to provide culturally competent and realistically aligned intervention suggestions for Maclovio residents

  • Be more informed about the opportunities for, and the types of, exercise available to people of Maclovio Rojas and the kinds of movement generally taking place in their daily lives

  • Be able to use understanding of exercise in Maclovio to provide intervention suggestions during BP readings that are more culturally competent and realistically align with the daily lives of Maclovio residents

What kind of food and ingredients are available?

  • Meat, dairy, fruits, and vegetables are available, and all cost around the same

  • On the other hand, junk food (chatarra) and fast food is more common, more readily available, faster, and cheaper 

  • Most residents obtain their produce from the marketplace (mercado) every weekend rather than a grocery store 

    • In one FISH interview, community leaders of Maclovio reflected that produce may not be available to all, and sometimes the variety of produce is scarce.

What kind of food is provided in schools?

  • There is limited information about Maclovio specifically but studies of Tijuana lunch programs found:

    • Within elementary schools, almost none of the school-provided lunch food is classified as healthy 

    • Very few students bring a lunch from home, but these also tend to be low in nutritional value

Cooking and Eating Habits of Residents

  • Many individuals eat spicy food, which may not be suitable for people with certain dietary or health restrictions 

  • Mostly women will cook food, as men are engaged in physical work throughout the day

    • On a daily basis, they will usually spend around 60-90 minutes making the food 

  • Street food, and fast food, is also quite popular

  • Unhealthy food is also ready available, and popular, among elementary school-age children in the Tijuana region

  • Much of the area’s food and dishes often have high sodium content, which can lead to higher blood pressure

What are Some Barriers Residents Face in Eating Healthily? 

  • Price

    • Residents often do not take into consideration health tips provided by professionals because of financial struggles 

    • Street food, fast food, and junk food are often cheaper than fresh produce

  • Time

    • Women are generally responsible for making food for the household 

    • This is because men are typically busy with their jobs all day, which tend to be physically intensive 

    • If the woman of the house has a job or there is no mother figure in the household, this makes homemade cooking more rare and fast food options more preferable.

What kinds of facilities are available for exercise? 

  • There is a recreational center which includes:

    • A running track

    • A soccer field on the inner area of the track

    • A building that provides weekly Zumba lessons  (pre-COVID times)

    • A playground for young kids (partially broken)

    • Outdoor exercise equipment 

  • Most people in Maclovio do not have a means of transportation, so they must walk to work or school

    • There is no high school in Maclovio, students go to school in a neighboring city

  • Compared to other nearby communities, Maclovio has more open space

  • However, much of the terrain is dirt, and rain can cause the land to become muddy, possibly impeding ability to exercise outdoors

Exercise among kids and adults

  • Many children will play soccer in parks often

  • Most people in Maclovio do not have a means of transportation, so they must walk to work or school

  • There is no high school in Maclovio, students go to school in a neighboring city

  • Currently, schools are closed due to COVID-19, so physical education classes are not taught

  • Many adults, especially men, do not have the time to exercise as they spend most of their time working.

  • Many jobs are also physically tiring, so adults may not be able to exercise because of this as well. 

    • Many of the men in the community hold construction jobs, which can be physically demanding

Case Study: Patient in Maclovio Rojas

You are conducting a blood pressure screening at Maclovio Rojas, and a community member appears to have a significantly high blood pressure. She also conveys that she is worried her children may have high blood pressure. When you are giving recommendations as to how to incorporate a healthy diet and regular physical activity into her and her children's’ lives, what kinds of questions should you ask? What should you say to them?

  • In the google form below, answer a few questions about how you would respond to this situation keeping in mind the information you just learned!

  • ***Make sure you are not assuming anything about what the family consumes or practices, instead ask them!!

  • Use the information from this module to narrow down what types of questions you may ask.

Case Study Review

General: Right after you have taken the blood pressure and realize that the patient is anxious about the result, how do you respond?

  • First, if the reading is significantly high it is always a good idea to get a second reading and make sure it wasn’t an error (from hypertension training)

  • Next, try to comfort the woman if she seems worried or anxious

  • Remember to preface everything you say with the point that you are not a certified physician and none of what you are saying is an official recommendation or diagnosis, but you have some suggestions that may help 

Exercise- Q1: What kinds of questions do you ask related to movement and exercise?

  • Potential Questions to ask

    • Do your children play any sports? Do they like going to the park often?

    • How much, and what type of movement do you get in an average day?

    • Do you like going on walks? 

    • Do you have 15-30 extra minutes in the day that you could save for a little bit of exercise

    • How do your children normally get to school? How do you and/or your husband get around or get to work?

    • Do you know about the zumba classes in the community center? Have you attended them?

    • Do you, or anyone in your family, own a bike?

Exercise- Q2: What kinds of suggestions might you make in regards to movement and exercise? 

  • Potential Suggestions 

  • Encourage kids to play in the park, play soccer, or whatever they enjoy with each other for a little bit of the day

  • If you feel safe, try incorporating short walks around the neighborhood into your routine

  • Try to see if there is a way to incorporate some movement into the commute to school or work everyday (biking/walking)

  • Set a mini exercise goal/routine with the woman that she chooses and can easily implement in her lifestyle. Examples may include:

  • 20 squats or jumping jacks every morning after waking up or right before bed so it is part of her daily routine

  • If there are a flight of stairs in her house, walk up and down the flight 5 times in a day

  • There are plenty of other options, but have them come up with a reasonable goal for themselves and tell it to you it (telling someone your goals fosters a small sense of accountability) Note: do not make a goal for them!

  • Tell her you would love to hear from her next time about how the goal is going!

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