Weight loss in Mexican Americans as related to acculturation and social support



Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title



Obesity is a serious and prevalent health problem among Mexican Americans that has received little attention in the behavioral literature. The purpose of this study was to assess the effectiveness of three separate interventions designed to help subjects lose weight and to investigate the effect of social support and acculturation on weight loss. The subjects were stratified by weight and then randomly assigned to either the family intervention, the individual intervention, or the booklet-only intervention. At six months, subjects in the family intervention had lost a significant amount of weight. Acculturation and social support were not significantly related to weight loss. The results are discussed in the context of specific characteristics of the Mexican American culture including: fatalismo, familismo, personalismo, and machismo. Descriptive information about the nature Mexican American's social support systems is also provided.



Weight loss--Psychological aspects, Weight loss--Social aspects, Mexican Americans--Attitudes, Mexican Americans--Health and hygiene