Background

Culturally tailored interventions are essential to help reduce the growing rates of obesity among minority populations. Hispanic adults and children are at increased risk of overweight and obesity, and Hispanic women have the lowest levels of physical activity. Abriendo Caminos, is an obesity prevention program for Hispanic families that combines nutrition, physical activity, and family togetherness for the whole family.

Methods

Families were randomly assigned to a six-week workshop series or a control group. Eligibility criteria included being of Mexican or Puerto Rican descent and having a child between the ages of 6-18 that could participate in the workshops with the parent. During the workshops, families participated in 45-50 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity for 6 sessions. The workshops also included a brief lesson on the importance of physical activity in promoting health, with strategies and tips to increase physical activity in fun and affordable ways. Seventy-four mothers (48 experimental, 26 control) completed the pre-and –post workshop International Physical Activity Questionnaire (IPAQ). The long-form of the IPAQ was used to measure changes in physical activity.

Results

Paired sample t-tests indicated that the walking Metabolic Equivalent of Task (MET)-minutes per week significantly increased from pre- to -post for mothers that participated in the workshops (p <.001). Total sitting time (as measured in minutes) also decreased from pre- to –post testing.

Conclusions

Participation in a culturally tailored obesity prevention program was related to an increase in physical activity for Hispanic mothers that participated the most in the program.