178907 Formative research to engage immigrant Latino women in achieving a healthy weight

Tuesday, October 28, 2008: 5:42 PM

Eleanor Long, MSPH , Maternal, Child and Adolescent Health, Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, Los Angeles, CA
Sharen Anthony, MFCC RD , PHFE-WIC - (Public Health Foundation), Irwindale, CA
Tania Villalobos, MPH (6/08) , Community Health Education, California State University, Long Beach, Los Angeles, CA
Yamin Aung, MPH (6/08) , Department of Health Sciences, Public Health Education, California State University, Northridge, Northridge, CA
Deborah Glik, ScD , School of Public Health, University of California Los Angeles (UCLA), Los Angeles, CA
Cynthia Harding, MPH , Maternal, Child and Adolescent Health, Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, Los Angeles, CA
Design: Qualitative, exploratory study; data were collected in six focus group sessions using a semi-structured questionnaire.

Subjects/Setting: Thirty-three Latina women aged 18 to 44 were recruited at various Women, Infants and Children sites in Los Angeles County. The focus groups were conducted in Spanish.

Analysis: Recurring themes within group discussion were identified by three independent investigators, one who was ethnicity concordant.

Results: Information from this qualitative study demonstrates that immigration to the United States significantly and negatively affects health behaviors. Acculturation diminishes cooking skills and creates a taste for fast foods. Environmental factors become barriers to successful prevention and treatment of overweight. Certain issues such as limited budget and access to fresh food, lack of time, lack of skills and cooking appliances for preparing healthy meals, lack of childcare and lack of access to parks were identified as barriers to adopting healthful behaviors. Participants desired culturally appropriate nutrition education in a group session and reassurance from a health care provider, preferably Spanish-speaking.

Conclusions: Our findings suggest that nutrition education efforts targeting Latino women can be reframed to better address the belief system and cultural framework of the population. Barriers in the physical environment must also be addressed. Health education needs to identify positive eating and physical activity behaviors that can be changed rather than focusing on a person's weight.

Learning Objectives:
Learning Objectives: By the end of the session, the participant will be able to discuss the results of focus groups conducted that revealed the feelings, values and experiences that shape how Latino women think and act in relation to healthy weight, physical activity and eating. By the end of the session, the participant will be able to identify barriers that must be addressed in providing culturally appropriate health care messages to improve the health and well being of Latino women in Los Angeles County

Keywords: Health Behavior, Obesity

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I work with Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, Maternal, Child and Adolescent Health Programs. I am the Health Education Coordinator, with a Master's in Public Health. This project has received no commercial support.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.