A weight-loss intervention program designed for Mexican-American women: Cultural adaptations and results

Nangel M. Lindberg, Victor J. Stevens, Sonia Vega-Lopez, Tia L. Kauffman, Mariana Rosales Calderón, María Antonieta Cervantes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


This study assessed the feasibility of a culturally-appropriate weight-loss intervention targeting obese Spanish-speaking Mexican women. This 12-month weightloss program was based on behavioral interventions previously used successfully with English-speaking participants. Cultural adaptations included: female interventionists, minimal written materials, emphasis on group activities, focus on Mexican traditions and beliefs, and skill-building approach to food measurement. All sessions were conducted in Spanish. The study had few exclusionary criteria, which allowed participation of women with a wide range of literacy levels. Recruitment exceeded expectations, with 47 participants enrolling in the program. Not counting participants who became pregnant during the study, attendance at 6 and 12 months was 62 and 50 % respectively. Mean weight loss at 6 and 12 months was 5.3 and 7.2 kg, respectively, with a mean reduction in BMI of 4.0 and 5.5 kg/m2 from baseline to 6 and 12 months, respectively. This pilot study shows that it is feasible to develop and implement culturally-appropriate behavioral lifestyle interventions for obesity treatment in Mexican-American women.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1030-1039
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Immigrant and Minority Health
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2012


  • Cultural adaptation
  • Hispanics
  • Obesity
  • Weight-loss intervention
  • Women

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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