142nd APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition

Annual Meeting Recordings are now available for purchase

Social Capital and Improved Health Outcome in Food Insecure Immigrants

142nd APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition (November 15 - November 19, 2014): http://www.apha.org/events-and-meetings/annual
Monday, November 17, 2014 : 3:00 PM - 3:15 PM

Elena Bastida, Ph.D , Robert Stempel College of Public Health and Social Work, Florida International University, Miami, FL
Alberto Ravelo, MS , Health Promotion and Diseases Prevention, Florida Internationa University, Miami, FL
Claudia A. Serna, BDS, RDH, MPH , Department of Health Promotion and Disease Prevention, Florida International University, Miami, FL
Armando Dominguez, MS , Health Promotion and Disease Prevention, Florida International University, Miami, GA
A sample of 808 Food Bank (FB) clients of Mexican and Central American origin were recruited at FB pantry sites to participate in a 12 week intervention to promote healthy eating and increased physical activity.  Ethnographic and quantifiable data examined the existence, acquisition or increased participant social capital throughout 40 weeks. Participants reported food insecurity.  For many, the food pantry provided the only stable source of food over prolonged time. Lengthy legalization while waiting for permanent residence results in a legal limbo without qualifying for benefits, full time work or access to hospital care. The study followed a community based participatory approach, fully embedded in the neighborhoods where participants and sites were located. Mixed methods of data collection informed analyses. Assessments and intervention delivery were conducted at pantries. Baseline profiles revealed over 60% suffering from chronic disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes and obesity among the salient conditions. Socio –demographic, eating and physical activity measures were obtained. Notable were the high consumption of sugared drinks and low consumption of water. After randomization, half participated in the treatment arm of the study.  At post-test, 60% of treatment participants had improved eating behaviors, weight, blood pressure, glucose and cholesterol.  Social capital emerged as an important moderating factor in reducing attrition for men and this mediated improved outcomes. Ethnographic data suggest that the intervention team became a source of increased social capital for these immigrants who were not anchored within their communities; while the intervention dose contributed to their human capital.

Learning Areas:

Assessment of individual and community needs for health education
Chronic disease management and prevention
Diversity and culture
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs

Learning Objectives:
Identify barriers to healthy eating in food insecure Mexican and Central American immigrants Describe difficulties in obtaining health care for immigrants in process of obtaining legalization. Discuss intervention procedures that facilitated participants' improved nutritional practice Name the major barrier to increased water consumption.

Keyword(s): Chronic Disease Management and Care, Food Security

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have a Ph.D in Medical Sociology, have published in the field, including he American Journal of Public Health. I am currently the chair of Health Promotion in the College of Public Health at Florida International University.
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.