Health researchers tell us what we already know, that the Latin American family has some built-in protective factors related to the closeness and support we get from our extended families. Although most of us Latinas already know that, it sure is nice to have it affirmed by scholars and health researchers.
We know from experience, the value of our familias, and we know that our fierce love protects us. Now researchers are recognizing these strong bonds as something positive and they call it “protective factors.”
We don’t need fancy nouvelle cookbooks to tell us how delicious, varied and nutritious our food is. We know our comida rocks, but now there are hundreds of new books on the marvels of the Latin American kitchen.
Just as we already know how important our families and our food are to us, we also know what the research has confirmed about female friendship and support. A recent study conducted by Brown Medical School and University of Minnesota found that women who joined a weight loss program with a supportive friend were much more successful than when they joined alone.
Latinas have always had strong female bonds that uphold and protect us. And now the research affirms that this bond can help us achieve a healthier life.
Next week I’ll share a personal experience about how my comadre, Miriam, and I have been peer-coaching each other for more than 20 years, with stellar results. Check out part two and learn how Miriam and I helped each other through many life changes.