The cultural context of obesity: Exploring perceptions of obesity and weight loss among Latina immigrants

Academic Article


  • This study used focus group methodology to examine perceptions of obesity and weight management among Latina immigrant women in Alabama. Four focus groups (N = 25) were conducted in Spanish as part of a participatory intervention development process. Participants were obese/overweight Latina immigrant women (BMI > 25) primarily recruited from a community hospital. The majority of participants were from Mexico. Participants described obesity in the context of short-term effects such as physical symptoms and aesthetics. Perceived weight gain was related to lifestyle changes since moving to the US. Social isolation, depression, and stress were reported to contribute to weight gain. Participants expressed interest in weight loss but emphasized a desire for programs that preserve traditional foods and include family. Weightmanagement programs designed for Latina immigrants should address their perceptions of obesity. This data also suggests that those interventions that preserve culture and incorporate family may have increased community buy-in. © Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011.
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Agne AA; Daubert R; Munoz ML; Scarinci I; Cherrington AL
  • Start Page

  • 1063
  • End Page

  • 1070
  • Volume

  • 14
  • Issue

  • 6