Objectives: Obesity increases a person's risk for diabetes, which is
becoming the most common chronic disease in the United States. Latina
and African-American women in disadvantaged communities are at higher
risk for becoming overweight and subsequently developing diabetes. The
purpose of this focus-group study was to guide Our adaptation of an
evidence-based lifestyle intervention and implementation of the
Community-Based Lifestyle Balance program (CLSB).
Design, Setting, and Participants: We conducted 11 focus-group
discussions with 87 African-American and Latina women in disadvantaged
communities, including schools, senior centers, subsidized housing
communities, and churches. We also conducted informal key informant
interviews with community service providers and leaders.
Results: Discussions revealed high knowledge of healthy behavior and
strong interest in making lifestyle changes. However, barriers such as
competing demands on these women prevented long-term practice of healthy
behaviors. Women frequently expressed feelings of guilt and self-blame
in their attempts and failures to make healthy changes in their daily
routine. Some patterns were identified that varied by age and
race/ethnicity. These findings Suggest guidelines for implementing this
lifestyle intervention in a variety of community settings.
Conclusions: Community-level changes such as safer streets and better
access to quality grocery stores or markets, with affordable, healthy,
fresh food can take years to accomplish. In the interim, CLSB can
provide women with skills and strategies that can help improve their
health and the health of their families.
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