Using Focus Groups to Identify Factors Affecting Healthful Weight Maintenance in Latino Immigrants

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Objective: To explore (1) how migration influenced physical activity and dietary behaviors among Latino immigrants and (2) participants' perception of concepts related to a Health at Every Size (HAES) approach to weight maintenance (mindful eating, taking care of oneself). Methods: Four focus groups (n = 35), homogenous by sex, were conducted in Spanish. Results: Male and female participants spoke of being less physically active and eating less healthful diets since immigrating. Noted barriers to being physically active and eating a healthful diet included time and financial constraints. Participants were interested in the HAES concepts but thought these ideas conflicted with their cultural upbringing. For women, putting family first was identified as a barrier to taking care of oneself. Conclusions and Implications: An HAES approach may be a useful in promoting weight maintenance in this population, as participants were interested in key concepts, but it would be important that HAES interventions incorporate cultural traditions. © 2012 Society for Nutrition Education and Behavior.

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Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior