Feds Spend $143,002 for Latina Women to Talk About Their Weight With Their Daughters

Study to provide ‘communication competency’ training to Mexican-American women

/ AP
March 31, 2016

The National Institutes of Health is spending nearly $150,000 to facilitate conversations with obese Latina women about their weight with their daughters.

An assistant professor at the University of California San Diego received the funding for the project that hopes to give "communication competency" to Mexican-American women about obesity and working out.

"Given the relationship between obesity and cardiovascular disease, it is imperative that intervention studies address weight management among Mexican-American women, a group disproportionately affected by obesity," according to the grant for the study, which began in January. "A dyad-level intervention partnering mothers and their adult daughters may be a culturally salient and effective approach to improve diet and physical activity."

"Because communication among family members can impact health behaviors, promoting communication that facilitates healthy eating and physical activity could help build an interpersonal environment that supports weight management among mothers and daughters," the grant continues. "An intervention that addresses communication competency is especially warranted for Latino families as dissonance in acculturation between parent and child can interfere with effective communication and increase conflict."

The project will create a "weight management intervention" with "communication training" to provide Mexican-American women and their daughters "reciprocal support for healthy eating and physical activity behaviors."

The study, which will continue through December 2020, has cost taxpayers $143,002.

The project will also track weight changes of the study’s participants, and their "weight-related behaviors."

"We expect weight loss and improvements in diet, physical activity, and psychosocial variables, such as social support, to be significantly associated with improvements in communication," the grant said.

The National Institutes of Health has invested in similar studies in the past. The agency poured $406,875 into a study to tell Latino men to exercise over text messages; $499,880 to teach doctors how to talk to fat kids; and $77,563 to study how parents talk to their kids about food.

Published under: Health Care , Obesity