Lifestyle modification intervention for overweight and obese Hispanic pregnant women: development, implementation, lessons learned and future applications

Contemp Clin Trials Commun. 2016 Aug 15;3:111-116. doi: 10.1016/j.conctc.2016.05.004. Epub 2016 May 5.


Objectives: To describe the development, implementation and lessons learned of lifestyle intervention to promote appropriate gestational weight gain among Hispanic pregnant women.

Design: The intervention was informed by an empowerment oriented theoretical framework, and targeted women in the Pregnancy and Early Life Improvement Study.

Methods: The nutrition component consisted of recommendations for total calories, food quantity and improving carbohydrate and fat quality. We provided brown rice, omega-3 rich vegetable oil and spread, and water monthly. The physical activity focused on limiting sedentary behavior and promoting regular movement. The intervention was delivered through individual and group sessions and phone calls. Participants set their own goals, which were closely monitored. The intervention was evaluated extracting data from participant's record (attendance, goals, and challenges) and using a questionnaire.

Results: Participants were from underserved communities with economic, time, cultural and social barriers for engaging in lifestyle interventions. Modifications were done to facilitate participation, such as coordinating sessions with prenatal appointments and reducing group size and duration of sessions. Weekly text messages were added to reinforce the intervention. The main goal chosen by participants was reduction of sweetened beverages. The greatest challenges were replacing white rice with brown rice and improving physical activity. Participants suggested conducting sessions near their community and using social media as a motivation tool. Main outcomes results will be published elsewhere.

Conclusion: We identified barriers to delivering the lifestyle intervention, mainly related to group session's participation. Sessions should be conducted in the community, using text messages and social media as reinforcement.

Keywords: Hispanics; lifestyle intervention; nutrition; obesity; physical activity; pregnancy.