Exploring the Role of Depression as a Moderator of a Workplace Obesity Intervention for Latino Immigrant Farmworkers

  • Jessie Kemmick PintorEmail author
  • Diane C. Mitchell
  • Marc B. Schenker
Original Paper


We explored if and how depression moderated the treatment effect of Pasos Saludables, a successful pilot workplace obesity intervention for Latino immigrant farmworkers. The original randomized controlled study assigned 254 participants 2:1 to a 10-session educational intervention versus control. We assessed the relationship between change in BMI (primary outcome) and interaction of treatment allocation and baseline risk for depression. Baseline CES-D scores indicated that 27.3% of participants were at risk for depression. The interaction between treatment allocation and baseline risk for depression was significant (p = 0.004). In adjusted models among women, intervention participants with no indication of depression at baseline reduced their BMI by 0.77 on average (95% CI − 1.25, − 0.30) compared to controls. The reduction im BMI between the intervention group at risk for depression at baseline and either control was not significantly different from zero. Findings from our post-hoc, exploratory study indicate that depression may inhibit significant weight loss.


Migrant farmworkers Latino immigrants Obesity Mental health Intervention 



We extend our gratitude to study staff and participants without whom the pilot study and the work presented here would not have been possible. Reiter Affiliated Companies LLC (RAC) provided the majority of the grant funding for the pilot study, and study participants were all RAC workers. A contract was enacted between RAC and UC Davis, which ensured confidentiality for the participants and that the university retained the right to data and publishing independent to RAC. This study was supported by NIOSH Grant U54 OH007550 (the Western Center for Agricultural Health and Safety) and Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) training Grant T32 HS022236. NIOSH, AHRQ, and RAC had no involvement in the study design, analysis and interpretation of data, or writing and submission of this manuscript. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of NOISH, ARHQ, or RAC.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.

Ethical Approval

The Pasos Saludables study was reviewed and approved by the University’s Institutional Review Board (IRB). All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the University IRB and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed Consent

Written informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.

Supplementary material

10903_2018_743_MOESM1_ESM.docx (29 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 29 KB)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jessie Kemmick Pintor
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    Email author
  • Diane C. Mitchell
    • 1
  • Marc B. Schenker
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Public Health SciencesUniversity of California, DavisDavisUSA
  2. 2.Department of Health Management & PolicyDrexel University Dornsife School of Public HealthPhiladelphiaUSA
  3. 3.Center for Health and the EnvironmentUniversity of CaliforniaDavisUSA

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