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Using Qualitative Methods to Understand Physical Activity and Weight Management Among Bangladeshis in New York City, 2013
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    South Asians experience high rates of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes, coupled with low rates of reported physical activity. We report findings from a qualitative sub-study that was conducted in 2013 among Bangladeshi immigrants in New York City to understand factors that affect physical activity practices and weight management in this community.


    Qualitative study participants were recruited from community-based settings. Sex-specific focus groups were conducted by trained community health workers. Proceedings were audio-recorded for translation and transcription and coded using a constant comparative approach. Data were coded using Atlas.ti software.


    Six focus groups were completed with a final sample of 67 participants (63% male, 37% female). Mean participant age was 42 years; mean years of residence in the United States was 12. Key themes that emerged were beliefs about modesty and sex-separated facilities that may prevent women from engaging in physical activity. Distinctions were made between men and women about what constitutes exercise versus physical activity; religious prayer was considered to be health-promoting because of the movement involved. Other important themes that emerged were cultural dietary practices and evolving conceptions of healthy weight.


    Tailored interventions that take into account the cultural context of this growing community are needed. Findings may also provide insight into barriers to health promotion experienced by other US Muslim communities, which are growing rapidly.

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    U48 DP001904/DP/NCCDPHP CDC HHS/United States
    UL1 TR001445/TR/NCATS NIH HHS/United States
    U58 DP005621/DP/NCCDPHP CDC HHS/United States
    P60 MD000538/MD/NIMHD NIH HHS/United States
    UL1 TR000038/TR/NCATS NIH HHS/United States
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