Background. Breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer and the most common cause of cancer mortality among Latino women. Several behavioral factors such as early detection and dietary practices could help decrease morbidity and mortality associated with breast cancer in this population. Unfortunately, there are few data regarding the efficacy of health-related interventions for young Latino women. Methods. Mujeres Felices por ser Saludables is a randomized intervention project designed to assess breast cancer risk reduction behavior among Latino women ages 20-40 years. The primary objectives of the project were to determine whether an 8-month integrated dietary/breast health intervention could lead to a greater reduction in dietary fat, increase in dietary fiber, increase in the frequency and proficiency of breast self examination (BSE), and reduction in anxiety related to BSE compared to controls. Herein we describe the overall design of the project and present baseline characteristics of the 256 randomized women. Results. Our results suggest that the average daily intake of dietary fat (percentage of total energy) was slightly below 30% (percentage of total energy) among the women randomized. While over half of these women reported that they practice BSE, and few reported anxiety related to BSE, less than 27% of women were proficient in the recommended BSE technique. Conclusions. There are few data on the dietary and breast health behaviors of young low-acculturated Latino women. This study documents the feasibility of recruiting, randomizing, and obtaining both baseline dietary and breast health data on this unique and underserved population. © 2003 American Health Foundation and Elsevier Science (USA). All rights reserved.