Pasos Adelante

An Evidence-Based Practice


Pasos Adelante is a chronic disease prevention program for Mexican-Americans residing in U.S.-Mexico border communities. This initiative uses community health workers, called promotores, to recruit participants and run culturally tailored 12-week interventions consisting of weekly scripted classroom sessions and walking groups. The program uniquely motivates Mexican-Americans to adopt healthy behaviors by educating them on nutrition and providing a supportive environment to walk. This initiative has been implemented on two separate occasions, first from 2000 to 2003 in Yuma and Santa Cruz counties of Arizona, second from 2005 to 2008 in Douglas, Arizona, by University of Arizona and community health organizations. Pasos Adelante was funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Prevention Research Center.

Goal / Mission

Pasos Adelante is a lifestyle intervention that aims to prevent and control chronic disease such as heart disease and diabetes in Mexican Americans by providing a supporting environment for improving nutrition and increasing walking activity in U.S.-Mexico border communities.

Results / Accomplishments

In Yuma and Santa Cruz Counties, 216 out of 248 participants completed the program. Dietary improvements in per week servings of soda, sweetened hot drinks, salads, fruits, and vegetables were statistically significant (p<0.05). Mean weekly minutes of both moderate and fast walking increased significantly (p<0.001).

In Douglas County, three promotoras recruited participants from the community and implemented the the 12-week intervention. Data was gathered prior to intervention, six weeks after intervention, and three months after intervention by survey, anthropometric measures, and a fasting-blood draw. A total of 217 participants completed all three assessments. Statistically significant improvements (p<0.05) were seen in body mass index, total cholesterol, and blood pressure at the end of the program compared to baseline assessment. Participants were largely female (more than 90%).

About this Promising Practice

Primary Contact
Scott C. Carvajal, PhD, MPH
Arizona Prevention Research Center
1295 N. Martin Ave.
Tucson, AZ 85724
(520) 626-9026
Health / Exercise, Nutrition, & Weight
Health / Wellness & Lifestyle
University of Arizona: Arizona Prevention Research Center
CDC Prevention Research Center
Date of publication
Date of implementation
For more details
Target Audience
Racial/Ethnic Minorities