Project Summary

The obesity epidemic in the United States has significant prevalence in both the Hispanic and the disabled populations. When both of these factors are present, there is a virtual perfect storm for obesity risk. Spina bifida is the most common permanently disabling birth defect in the United States. In San Diego, over 70% of the spina bifida population is Hispanic and more than half of the affected families are primary Spanish speakers. Over the past few years, in reaction to feedback from parents and pediatric patients, Spina Bifida San Diego (SBSD) has recognized the need to address the weight issues facing our affected teenagers.

We hope to create a network of patient and family stakeholders who are invested in identifying the obesity issues facing our predominantly Hispanic spina bifida population, through structured focus meetings facilitated by a nutritionist and a bilingual assistant. We plan to reach out to community investigators in obesity research to create a panel composed of patients, parents, caretakers, and researchers who provide the self-motivation, dedication, and meaningful solutions addressing the prevention and resolution of obesity in this high-risk population.

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More on This Project

McDonald ML, Huang A, Proudfoot JA, Le JT, Chiang GJ, Bush RA. Association of Obesity, BMI, and Hispanic Ethnicity on Ambulatory Status in Children with Spinal Dysraphism followed near the California-Mexico Border. J Health Care Poor Underserved. 2016;27(4):1956-1969. PubMed PMID: 27818449. (Abstract only available) This project was partially funded through a Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) Pipeline-to-Proposal Award, administered on behalf of PCORI by Colorado Foundation for Public Health and the Environment.

Bush RA, Pérez A, Connelly CD, Jorquera E, Leveque NL, Chiang GJ. Community-Academic Partnership: Identifying Patient Perceptions Related to Obesity in a Spina Bifida Population. J Participat Med. 2016 May 4; 8:e6.

Project Information

George Chiang
Spina Bifida San Diego

Key Dates

9 months


Award Type
State State The state where the project originates, or where the primary institution or organization is located. View Glossary
Last updated: March 4, 2022