Mujeres Fuertes y Corazones Saludables, a Culturally Tailored Physical Activity and Nutrition Program for Rural Latinas: Findings from a Pilot Study. Academic Article uri icon


  • In the United States, Latino adults, compared with non-Hispanic white adults, are less likely to meet physical activity and dietary recommendations, and have higher rates of obesity. There is an urgent need for culturally adapted health promotion programs that meet the needs of the growing Latino population in the United States. We systematically adapted StrongWomen-Healthy Hearts, an evidence-based physical activity and nutrition program, for rural Latinas. This paper reports results from a pilot study of the adapted program. We used mixed methods to assess the feasibility and efficacy of the adapted program, Mujeres Fuertes y Corazones Saludables, in a nonprofit community organization serving rural Latinos. The intervention consisted of sixty-minute classes held twice weekly for 12 weeks and included 30 minutes of physical activity and 30 minutes of nutrition education. To assess efficacy, we used a one-group, prepost design with overweight/obese, sedentary, middle-aged or older, Spanish-speaking rural Latinas (n = 15). Outcome measures included weight, height, body mass index (BMI), waist circumference, cardiorespiratory fitness, physical activity, dietary behavior, and self-efficacy for diet and physical activity. Process outcomes included attendance, end of class surveys, mid-program evaluation survey, and a post-program focus group. We calculated means and standard deviations, paproired t-tests, and Cohen's D effect size. Qualitative data were analyzed using qualitative description. Significant changes pre- to post-program included weight (-1.5 kg; p = 0.009), BMI (-0.6; p = 0.005), waist circumference (-3.0 cm; p = 0.008), 6-minute walk test (69.7 m; p < 0.001), frequency of sugar-added drink consumption (-0.7 servings; p = 0.008), fruit and vegetable intake (1.3 servings; p = 0.035), and physical activity self-efficacy (0.9 points; p = 0.022). Participants found the program motivating and enjoyable, and on average participants attended 62% of classes and fidelity was maintained. This pilot study suggests that this culturally adapted physical activity and nutrition program for rural Latinas shows promise in improving physical activity, diet, and obesity.

published proceedings

  • Int J Environ Res Public Health

altmetric score

  • 8.58

author list (cited authors)

  • Seguin, R. A., Perry, C. K., Solanki, E., McCalmont, J. C., Ward, J. P., & Jackson, C.

citation count

  • 6

complete list of authors

  • Seguin, Rebecca A||Perry, Cynthia K||Solanki, Emma||McCalmont, Jean C||Ward, Judy P||Jackson, Christie

publication date

  • January 2019