Social Support, Sedentary Behavior, and Neighborhood Characteristics Among Postpartum Latinas

Friday, 3 August 2012: 11:15 AM

Colleen Keller, PhD, RN-C, APRN, FAHA, FNAP, FAAN1
Kathie Records, PhD, RN1
Barbara Ainsworth, PhD, MPH2
Michael Belyea, PhD1
Sonia Vega-Lopez, PhD2
Paska Permana, PhD3
Allison Nagle-Williams, MSW1
Dean Coonrod, MD, MPH, FACOG4
Ester Carolina Apesoa-Varano, PhD5
(1)College of Nursing and Health Innovation, Arizona State University, Phoenix, AZ
(2)School of Nutrition and Health Promotion, Arizona State University, Phoenix, AZ
(3)Phoenix VA Healthcare System, Phoenix, AZ
(4)Maricopa Integrated Health System, Phoenix, AZ
(5)Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing, UC Davis, Sacramento, CA

Purpose: Weight gain during the childbearing years and failure to lose pregnancy weight after birth are important contributors to the development of obesity in Latina women, a rapidly growing subpopulation with cultural and social values that impact their health behavior. 

Methods: Madres para la Salud is a 12-month prospective, randomized controlled trial exploring the effectiveness of a culturally specific social support intervention with moderate-intensity physical activity to effect changes in body fat, systemic and fat tissue inflammation, and depression symptoms in sedentary postpartum Latinas.

Results: The health of overweight and obese Latina mothers in this study includes low levels of social support from family and friends, high rates of sedentary behaviors, and challenging neighborhood characteristics that are often associated with unhealthy lifestyle behaviors.

Conclusion: These initial findings that describe Latina health status and the related behavioral and contextual factors such as social support and neighborhoods demonstrate remarkable opportunity to assess evaluate intervention effectiveness of Madres para la Salud in addressing women’s weight management following childbirth.

Acknowledgements: Supported by National Institutes of Health/National Institute of Nursing Research Grant 1R01NR010356-01A2 Madres para la Salud (Mothers for Health; Keller, PI).