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Feasibility and acceptability of a Mediterranean-style diet intervention to reduce cardiovascular risk for low income Hispanic American women
  • Published Date:
    July 01 2017
  • Source:
    Ethn Health. 24(4):415-431
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Public Access Version Available on: May 01, 2020 information icon
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    Evidence for the cardioprotective effects of a Mediterranean-style (Med-style) diet is strong, however few Medstyle dietary interventions have been developed for and tested among Hispanic Americans (HAs), especially younger HAs of reproductive age whose dietary habits may strongly influence dietary intake for all family members.


    We adapted a previously tested and evidence-informed lifestyle intervention to reduce CVD risk and evaluated its feasibility, acceptability, and effects on self-reported lifestyle behaviors in this study enrolling low-income HA women attending a Title X family planning clinic in eastern North Carolina. The 3-month long intervention, given to all participants, promoted a Med-style dietary pattern with a focus on increasing consumption of foods commonly consumed by HA that have high quality dietary fats (polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats primarily from plant sources and fish) and carbohydrates (fruits, vegetables, and whole grains). The intervention also recommended increasing physical activity and was given during 2 face-to-face counseling sessions and 2 telephone counseling sessions. Major outcomes were engagement with study activities and intervention acceptability; lifestyle behavior change at 3-month follow-up is also reported.


    Baseline characteristics (n = 36) were: mean age 33 years, 35 (97%) without health insurance, 32 (89%) born in Mexico, and mean BMI 30 kg/m2. Engagement was high among the 36 participants with 33 (92%) completing the intervention and follow-up measures. At follow-up, most participants thought the intervention was helpful (range: 85–100%) and acceptable (100% agreed ‘I would recommend the program to others’). The mean dietary fat quality score improved by 0.5 units (95% CI: 0.0–1.1) and the mean fruit-vegetable servings/day improved by 0.7/day (95% CI: 0.1–1.3).


    Intervention engagement and acceptability were high and there was improvement in self-reported dietary behaviors. This type of Med-style dietary pattern intervention should be evaluated in randomized trials enrolling HAs at risk for CVD.

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