Pilot Social Network Weight Loss Intervention With Two Immigrant Populations During the COVID-19 Pandemic.
American journal of health promotion : AJHP. 2022;(3):458-471
PURPOSE To examine the feasibility and acceptability of a social network weight loss intervention delivered by lay health promoters (HPs) to immigrant populations. DESIGN Single-arm, non-randomized, pilot study of a social network weight loss intervention developed by a community-based participatory research partnership and delivered by HPs. SETTING Community-based setting in Southeastern Minnesota, United States. SAMPLE Somali and Hispanic immigrants to the United States: 4 social networks of adults (2 Hispanic and 2 Somali) with 39 network participants. INTERVENTION Twelve-week behavioral weight loss intervention delivered by HPs (4 weeks in-person and then 8 weeks virtual). MEASURES Feasibility was assessed by recruitment and retention rates. Acceptability was assessed by surveys and focus groups with HPs and participants. Behavioral measures included servings of fruits and vegetables, drinking soda, and physical activity. Physiologic measures included weight, blood pressure, glucose, cholesterol, and triglycerides. ANALYSIS Paired t-tests of pre- to post-intervention changes at the end of 12 weeks of treatment. RESULTS Recruitment was feasible and post-intervention was 100%. Participants highly rated the intervention on satisfaction, motivation, and confidence to eat a healthy diet, be physically active, and lose weight. Participants were motivated by group social support and cohesion of their social networks. On average, participants lost weight (91.6 ± 15.9 to 89.7 ± 16.6 kg, P < .0001), lowered their systolic blood pressure (133.9±16.9 to 127.2 ± 15.8 mm Hg; P < .001), lowered their diastolic blood pressure (81 ± 9.5 to 75.8 ± 9.6 mm Hg; P < .0001), had more servings of vegetables per day (1.9 ± 1.2 to 2.6 ± 1.4; P < .001), and increased their physical activity (2690 ± 3231 to 6595 ± 7322 MET-minutes per week; P = .02). CONCLUSION This pilot study of 2 immigrant communities who participated in a peer-led weight loss social network intervention delivered during the COVID-19 pandemic demonstrated high feasibility and acceptability. Participants lost weight, improved their health status, and improved their health behaviors.
Healthy Immigrant Families: Randomized Controlled Trial of a Family-Based Nutrition and Physical Activity Intervention.
American journal of health promotion : AJHP. 2018;(2):473-484
PURPOSE To evaluate a healthy eating and physical activity intervention for immigrant families, derived through community-based participatory research. DESIGN The Healthy Immigrant Families study was a randomized controlled trial with delayed intervention control group, with families as the randomization unit. SETTING US Midwest city. PARTICIPANTS Participants were recruited by community partners from Hispanic, Somali, and Sudanese immigrant communities. INTERVENTION Family health promoters from participating communities delivered 6 healthy eating modules, 4 physical activity modules, and 2 modules synthesizing information in 12 home visits (60-90 minutes) within the first 6 months. Up to 12 follow-up phone calls to each participant occurred within the second 6 months. MEASURES Primary measures were dietary quality measured with weekday 24-hour recall and reported as Healthy Eating Index score (0-100) and physical activity measured with accelerometers (14 wear days) at baseline, 6, 12, and 24 months. RESULTS In total, 151 persons (81 adolescents and 70 adults; 44 families) were randomly assigned. At 12 months, significant improvement occurred in Healthy Eating Index scores for adults in the intervention group compared with controls (change, +8.6 vs -4.4; P < .01) and persisted at 24 months (+7.4 from baseline; P < .01). No differences were observed for adolescents and no significant differences occurred between groups for physical activity. CONCLUSION This intervention produced sustained dietary quality improvement among adults but not among adolescents. Program outcomes are relevant to communities working to decrease cardiovascular risk among immigrant populations.
Healthy immigrant families: Participatory development and baseline characteristics of a community-based physical activity and nutrition intervention.
Contemporary clinical trials. 2016;:22-31
BACKGROUND US immigrants often have escalating cardiovascular risk. Barriers to optimal physical activity and diet have a significant role in this risk accumulation. METHODS We developed a physical activity and nutrition intervention with immigrant and refugee families through a community-based participatory research approach. Work groups of community members and health scientists developed an intervention manual with 12 content modules that were based on social-learning theory. Family health promoters from the participating communities (Hispanic, Somali, Sudanese) were trained to deliver the intervention through 12 home visits during the first 6 months and up to 12 phone calls during the second 6 months. The intervention was tested through a randomized community-based trial with a delayed-intervention control group, with measurements at baseline, 6, 12, and 24 months. Primary measurements included accelerometer-based assessment of physical activity and 24-hour dietary recall. Secondary measures included biometrics and theory-based instruments. RESULTS One hundred fifty-one individuals (81 adolescents, 70 adults; 44 families) were randomized. At baseline, mean (SD) time spent in moderate-to-vigorous physical activity was 64.7 (30.2) minutes/day for adolescents and 43.1 (35.4) minutes/day for adults. Moderate dietary quality was observed in both age groups. Biometric measures showed that 45.7% of adolescents and 80.0% of adults were overweight or obese. Moderate levels of self-efficacy and social support were reported for physical activity and nutrition. DISCUSSION Processes and products from this program are relevant to other communities aiming to reduce cardiovascular risk and negative health behaviors among immigrants and refugees. TRIAL REGISTRATION This trial was registered at Clinicaltrials.gov (NCT01952808).