Stanford Researchers Send Text Messages in Effort to Prevent Chronic Disease in Latino Community

Stanford University researchers are sending text messages to Latinos who live in the South Bay and on the Peninsula to promote better health behaviors.

The On The Move study sends three-to-five text messages a week to Latinos ages 45 and older in an effort to prevent diabetes, heart disease, high cholesterol and other chronic diseases.

"The goal of this study is to prevent people from developing these chronic conditions, and if certain people do have these chronic conditions, to improve their overall health," said Monica Done, health advisor at the Stanford Prevention Research Center.

Researchers are targeting up to 400 Latinos primarily in South Bay and Peninsula communities. Text messages will offer exercise tips, nutritional advice and interactive surveys. The study combines tailored text messages with traditional telephone counseling to compare which method offers better results.

"As people age they also become a lot busier with work and along with that, that increase in age is also a factor to increasing people’s risk to developing chronic conditions," said German Blanco, health advisor at the Stanford Prevention Research Center.

"This program is for people who are busy, who lead a busy life, but have a chance to take a phone call, or have the chance to read a text message that’s going to help them in a way become more physically active and thus get a little healthier or manage their conditions better."

Participants will be physically assessed at Stanford four times in an 18-month period on their movement level and overall health.

Eligible participants are age 45 and older, own a cell phone and self-identify as Latino. Anyone interested in joining the study can visit

On the Move is a National Institutes of Health-funded study at the Stanford School of Medicine in partnership with SF-based non-profit CareMessage.

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