, Volume 14, Issue 6, pp 1030-1039
Date: 30 Mar 2012

A Weight-Loss Intervention Program Designed for Mexican–American Women: Cultural Adaptations and Results

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Abstract

This study assessed the feasibility of a culturally-appropriate weight-loss intervention targeting obese Spanish-speaking Mexican women. This 12-month weight-loss program was based on behavioral interventions previously used successfully with English-speaking participants. Cultural adaptations included: female interventionists, minimal written materials, emphasis on group activities, focus on Mexican traditions and beliefs, and skill-building approach to food measurement. All sessions were conducted in Spanish. The study had few exclusionary criteria, which allowed participation of women with a wide range of literacy levels. Recruitment exceeded expectations, with 47 participants enrolling in the program. Not counting participants who became pregnant during the study, attendance at 6 and 12 months was 62 and 50 % respectively. Mean weight loss at 6 and 12 months was 5.3 and 7.2 kg, respectively, with a mean reduction in BMI of 4.0 and 5.5 kg/m2 from baseline to 6 and 12 months, respectively. This pilot study shows that it is feasible to develop and implement culturally-appropriate behavioral lifestyle interventions for obesity treatment in Mexican–American women.