Proposed variations of the obstacles involved to reach a lifestyle change for Hispanic women

Maria G. Placeres, B.S, David C. Castillo, B.S, Arely Perez, M.S, Danielle Bravo, B.S, Donovan L. Fogt, Ph.D, Zenong Yin, Ph.D,

The University of Texas at San Antonio

Mobile Health Laboratory

Classification of First Author: Master’s


Randomized clinical trials such as the Diabetes Prevention Program have demonstrated that intensive lifestyle interventions can reduce the incidence of type 2 diabetes in high risk Mexican American women. It is important to conduct translational research to test the effects of community-based lifestyle interventions in the reduction for obesity and diabetes.


Mujeres Interesadas en Cambios por la Salud (MI CASA; English translation: Women Interested in Changes for a Healthy Lifestyle) is a 14 week intervention focusing on the reduction of diabetes in Mexican American women. The objective of this translational study is to test the effectiveness of a promotora-led lifestyle intervention on body weight in Mexican American women at risk for diabetes. This study sought to investigate: 1) does Lifestyle intervention significantly lower body weight? and 2) did the intervention improve body composition (fat mass, fat-free soft tissue, and body fat percent)?


The study used a one group pretest-posttest design with 25 Hispanic women (average age = 45, SD = 10.9, BMI 25-40) who lived in low-income communities. The behavioral goals of the intervention were 1) reduction of 7% of baseline body weight; 2) eliminating 700-1000 calories from their daily intake by applying healthy substitutions and portion control; and 3) increasing their moderate to vigorous physical activity to 150 min/week.

Study measurements include body weight and body composition (fat mass, fat-free soft tissues, and bone) measured by Hologic X-ray bone densitometer.


Results of paired t-test showed no significant weight loss (p< .15) at posttest. There were significant reductions in fat mass (-1.0 kg, p< .01) and body fat percent (-.99%, p< .02) from pretest to posttest. No significant change was found in fat-free soft tissue.


In conclusion, participants may benefit from a lifestyle intervention which utilized a combination of physical activity and dietary modifications with a reduction of body fat, independent of weight loss. This method should be replicated in the future on a larger scale to check for consistency of results.



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