Obesity Prevention and Reduction among Latino Women in a Community Clinic
Authors:Huma Ahmed , Nicole Gonzalez-Bishop
- Jie Weiss, PhD, Health Science Department, California State University, Fullerton
- Emily Cheng, MA, Psychology Department, California State University, Fullerton
In Santa Ana City of Orange County,70% - 80% of the population is overweight or obese and over three quarters of the population is Latino. Moreover,obesity-related health conditions are prevalent – 6% of the population has a diagnosis of diabetes. Of those, 28.6% are Latino. Our obesity intervention program targets non-pregnant Latina women 18 years of age or older living in Orange County with a BMI greater than 25%. The goals and objectives of the intervention program are to: 1) examine associations between knowledge and health behaviors; 2) identify the difference between emotional eating and physical hunger; 3) increase participants’ ability to identify eating triggers, and 4) increase healthy eating and physical activity. Methods: Latino women (N= 223) participated in the 10-week intervention program that included nutrition classes, behavioral support groups, fitness activity, a grocery store tour and a healthy cooking demonstration. Women’s health related knowledge, healthy dietary behavior, physical activity level, and positive change towards attitudes/beliefs and self-efficacy were analyzed.Results: Preliminary results indicate that women’s knowledge of serving size increased from pre- (33.3%) to post-test (97.2%). Average consumption of healthy foods increased significantly from pre- to post-test, particularly frequency of vegetables and water intake. Frequency of any form of physical activity in the past 30 days increased significantly from pre-to post-test. For example, average frequency for vigorous exercise was M=1.38 at pretest and M=2.72 at posttest. There was a decrease in self-rated emotional eating from pretest (23%) to posttest (5%); and an increase of “rarely or occasionally” in emotional eating from 77% at pretest and 95% at posttest, suggesting increased self-efficacy in controlling the desire to eat. Conclusion: The results provided preliminary evidence that this culturally tailored intervention program may be successful in increasing the healthy living skills in Latino women as well as improving their overall health outcomes.