Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health

, Volume 14, Issue 6, pp 1030–1039 | Cite as

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

  • Nangel M. Lindberg
  • Victor J. Stevens
  • Sonia Vega-López
  • Tia L. Kauffman
  • Mariana Rosales Calderón
  • María Antonieta Cervantes
Original Paper


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.


Obesity Hispanics Women Weight-loss intervention Cultural adaptation 



Grants number U01 HL068676-03S1 and R21HL094965-02 from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute supported preparation of this study.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nangel M. Lindberg
    • 1
  • Victor J. Stevens
    • 1
  • Sonia Vega-López
    • 2
  • Tia L. Kauffman
    • 1
  • Mariana Rosales Calderón
    • 1
  • María Antonieta Cervantes
    • 3
  1. 1.Kaiser PermanenteCenter for Health ResearchPortlandUSA
  2. 2.School of Nutrition and Health PromotionArizona State UniversityTempeUSA
  3. 3.Escuela Nacional de Antropología e HistoriaInstituto Nacional de Antropología e HistoriaMéxicoMexico

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