University of Lynchburg DMSc Doctoral Project Assignment Repository

University of Lynchburg DMSc Doctoral Project Assignment Repository


Lifestyle Medicine


Prof. Elyse Watkins



Latinos are one of the largest minority groups experiencing a rapidly growing incidence and prevalence of chronic diseases associated with lifestyle choices. Latinos are particularly vulnerable to diabetes, which has many health-related complications. A growing number of health experts advocate healthy eating, exercise, adequate sleep, stress management, social connections, and substance avoidance as the leading lifestyle pillars for managing chronic diseases. The implementation of smartphone and messaging systems apps has been studied in several studies to track individual adherence to lifestyle changes. Latinos face particular challenges when implementing healthy lifestyle habits due to socioeconomic, cultural, literacy, and linguistic factors. This article aims to analyze and assess the strategies to effectively implement smartphone and social media messaging apps to promote healthy lifestyles among Latinos and reduce disease risk. Over time, evidence suggests that apps can promote healthy lifestyle changes and reduce chronic disease risks. Strategies for targeting Latinos include using popular, inexpensive, user-friendly, and Spanish-language apps. Latinos are more likely to use apps that allow them to interact with others, including family and friends, such as WhatsApp. However, WhatsApp presents limitations to providers, but it may be an excellent tool for initial implementation, self-management, communication, and monitoring. Research has been limited in this area, and further study is needed.


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