Effectiveness of a culturally tailored weight loss intervention for overweight and obese postpartum African American women
Sampson, Meghan R.
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The prevalence of obesity in the United States continues to rise with African American women being disproportionally affected. For some, pregnancy may contribute to overweight and obesity. Providing an efficacious weight loss program for overweight and obese postpartum African American women has proven difficult. The study’s aims were to pilot-test a culturally tailored weight loss intervention using a randomized control group design for overweight and obese postpartum African American women (n=20) and draw lessons from eating behavior and physical activity data. The intervention lasted either 8 or 12 weeks in conjunction with an assigned Birth Sister patient navigator at Boston Medical Center. Weight, eating behaviors, and physical activity data were collected at approximately 6 weeks and 15-20 weeks postpartum. Weight changes between the intervention and control groups were not significant. When compared to the control, the intervention did not have a significant average change in scores for the six categories of the Eating Behavior Patterns Questionnaire nor the active living habits section of the Kaiser Physical Activity Survey. The control group had a significant larger reduction in average scores for emotional eating (p=0.028), haphazard planning (p=0.034), and cultural/lifestyle behaviors (p=0.003), and a significant increase in average scores for the household and family care activities (p=0.034). Correlations were found between low fat eating and haphazard planning (r=-0.82). The results indicated that the intervention was unsuccessful in promoting weight loss and behavior change in this population. Other more flexible, individualized weight loss programs may be more successful in this population. The postpartum period can lead to weight retention, but it remains a challenge to engage African American women during this important transitional phase of their life.
Thesis (M.A.)--Boston University