Session planned in Paso Robles for Latino Health Awareness Month

San Luis Obispo County health officials have declared September as Latino Health Awareness Month and have scheduled an informational session Monday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Paso Robles Public Health Department, 723 Walnut Dr.

The event will include disseminating information about the program and advice on how to create healthier beverages.

It also will introduce a cookbook, “Flavors of My Kitchen,” featuring “recipes that are well-known in the Hispanic community but are slightly modified, making them healthier,” according to Magi Mejorado of the Public Health Department.

In promoting Latino Health Awareness Month, Health Agency Director Jeff Hamm and Health Officer Penny Borenstein quote the California Department of Health Services, which said that “compared to other races, and ethnic groups in California, Latinos of all ages have among the highest rates of obesity.”

Obesity is associated with such serious conditions as heart disease, diabetes, liver and gallbladder disease, certain cancers, sleep apnea, respiratory disease and many others, they said.

It is also costly. In 2008, “overall medical care costs related to obesity for U.S. adults were estimated to be as high as $147 billion,” they said.