Menu Close

Acculturation Influences Postpartum Eating, Activity, and Weight Retention in Low-Income Hispanic Women


Martin, Chantel L.; Tate, Deborah F.; Schaffner, Andrew; Brannen, Anna; Hatley, Karen Erickson; Diamond, Molly; Munoz-Christian, Karen; Pomeroy, Jeremy; Sanchez, Teresa; & Mercado, Adrian, et al. (2017). Acculturation Influences Postpartum Eating, Activity, and Weight Retention in Low-Income Hispanic Women. Journal of Adolescent Health, 26(12), 1333-1339. PMCID: PMC5733667


BACKGROUND: Low-income Hispanic women experience elevated rates of high postpartum weight retention (PPWR), which is an independent risk factor for lifetime obesity. Sociocultural factors might play an important role among Hispanic women; however, very few studies have examined this association.
OBJECTIVE: The purpose of our study was to examine the associations between acculturation and maternal diet, physical activity, and PPWR.
DESIGN: This is a cross-sectional study of baseline data from 282 Hispanic women participating in the FitMoms/Mamás Activas study, a randomized controlled trial examining the impact of primarily an internet-based weight control program, in reducing PPWR among low-income women. We performed multivariable linear regression to examine the association of acculturation with diet quality, physical activity, and PPWR at study entry.
RESULTS: A total of 213 (76%) women had acculturation scores reflecting Mexican orientation or bicultural orientation, whereas 69 (24%) had scores that represented assimilation to Anglo culture. Women who were more acculturated had lower intakes of fruits and vegetables, lower HEI scores, and lower physical activity levels than women who were less acculturated (p < 0.05). We found an association between acculturation and PPWR in that for every 1-unit increase in acculturation score, PPWR increased, on average, by 0.80 kg.
CONCLUSION: Higher acculturation was associated with poorer diet and physical activity behaviors and greater PPWR.


Reference Type

Journal Article

Year Published


Journal Title

Journal of Adolescent Health


Martin, Chantel L.
Tate, Deborah F.
Schaffner, Andrew
Brannen, Anna
Hatley, Karen Erickson
Diamond, Molly
Munoz-Christian, Karen
Pomeroy, Jeremy
Sanchez, Teresa
Mercado, Adrian
Hagobian, Todd
Phelan, Suzanne