REFERENCE: Avila, P., Hovell, M. F. (1994). Physical activity training for weight loss in Latinas: A controlled trial. International Journal of Obesity, 18, 476-482.

This study tested the effects of an exercise and diet modification training program for weight loss among Latinas. Forty four obese women were assigned to an experimental training group (n = 22) or a control (n = 22), at random. One session per week for eight weeks included instruction for diet modification and walking for exercise, and all women were led in 20 min of walking during each session. Instruction was provided by a bi-cultural Spanish-speaking physician. Statistically significant (P < 0.05) decreases, relative to controls, were obtained for Body Mass Index, waist to hip ratio, and serum cholesterol. Significant increases were obtained for fitness, exercise rate and frequency, and diet/exercise knowledge. Results suggest that the training was effective for decreasing obesity and increasing fitness among Low SES, Mexican-American women. Implications for weight control and disease prevention among under-served populations are discussed.


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