Association of social network factors with weight status and weight loss intentions among hispanic adults

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Hispanic adults have the highest obesity prevalence in the United States, but little is known about weight-related social network influences. A community-based sample of 610 Hispanic participants completed height/weight and a survey. The proportion of overweight or obese (OW/OB) network members was higher for OW/OB respondents compared to normal weight respondents. Participants with high weight loss intentions reported more positive social norms for weight control, social support, and social cohesion. If most or all of OW/OB participant’s social contacts were trying to lose weight, the odds that they were likely to try to lose weight was four times higher than other participants. The relationship between weight loss intentions and number of social contacts trying to lose weight was strongly mediated by social norms for weight control and social support. These results suggest that social contacts and functional network characteristics may impact weight status and weight control intentions among Hispanic adults.

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The authors thank all RHCP partners who contributed to the organization, implementation, and dissemination of this work.


This publication was supported by NIH Grant No. R01 HL 111407 from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute and by CTSA Grant No. UL1 TR000135 from the National Center for Advancing Translational Science (NCATS), and by the Mayo Clinic Office of Health Disparities Research. Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of the NIH. The funding bodies had no role in study design; in the collection, analysis, and interpretation of data; writing of the manuscript; and in the decision to submit the manuscript for publication.

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Correspondence to Mark L. Wieland.

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The authors Mark L. Wieland, Jane W. Njeru, Janet M. Okamoto, Paul J. Novotny, Margaret K. Breen-Lyles, Miriam Goodson, Graciela D. Porraz Capetillo, Luz E. Molina, Irene G. Sia declared no conflict of interest.

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All procedures performed in this study were approved by the Mayo Clinic Institutional Review Board, and are in accordance with the 1964 Helsinki Declaration and its later amendments. This article does not contain any studies with animals performed by any of the authors.

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Wieland, M.L., Njeru, J.W., Okamoto, J.M. et al. Association of social network factors with weight status and weight loss intentions among hispanic adults. J Behav Med (2020) doi:10.1007/s10865-019-00131-3

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  • Social network
  • Hispanic
  • Obesity
  • Community-based participatory research