270348 Pacific Islander Women's Health Spa: Culture specific obesity prevention workshop

Tuesday, October 30, 2012 : 3:15 PM - 3:30 PM

Lydia Guzman, MPH, RD , San Mateo County Health System, San Mateo, CA
Mary Casagrande, MPH , San Mateo County Health System, San Mateo, CA
Lita Tangitau-Sanft, BA , Public Health Nutrition, San Mateo County Health System, San Mateo, CA
Roshetta Mokofisi, MPA , San Mateo County Health System, San Mateo, CA
Pacific Islander women suffer from a high rate of obesity and obesity-related illnesses such as type 2 diabetes and polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). Objective: To develop an obesity prevention intervention specific to Pacific Islander women that results in positive dietary and physical activity behavior changes. Method: A three hour workshop, Health Spa, was developed to be culturally relevant to Pacific Islander women. Because most women are highly motivated by their physical appearance, we introduce the concept of Healthy is Beautiful, relating physical appearance to a healthy lifestyle. The program combines nutrition education with spa-like activities, such as facials and hand scrubs made with cultural foods: sweet potatoes, papaya and coconut. While drinking hibiscus tea, participants learn about the impact of dietary sugar and different types of fat on their skin and weight. They learn the importance of exercise and weight management to reduce the risk of developing PCOS, whose symptoms may include excess facial hair, acne and infertility. Finally, participants create individualized behavior change action plans and are later contacted to provide long-term accountability and support to meet their goals. All educational materials developed were culturally and linguistic appropriate. Results: 73% reported making positive behavior changes in the intake of: sugar, fat, water, fruits and vegetables. Participants found the workshop very valuable and wanted the program available for friends and family members. Conclusion: The program generates cultural pride and provides both the information and the motivation to make the dietary and lifestyle changes needed to reduce the risk of obesity.

Learning Areas:
Chronic disease management and prevention
Diversity and culture
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
1) Design a culturally appropriate obesity prevention intervention for Pacific Islander women. 2) Name three health issues of special concern to Pacific Islander women.

Keywords: Asian and Pacific Islander Women, Obesity

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I developed the "health spa" concept to education women about nutrition and physical activity. We have been conducting this program with great success with other ethnic groups for the past ten years. I assisted with the design and pilot testing of this intervention with the Pacific Islander women.
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.