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Journal of Obesity
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 916468, 8 pages
Research Article

Overweight, Obesity, and Neighborhood Characteristics among Postpartum Latinas

1College of Nursing and Health Innovation, Arizona State University, 500 N. 3rd Street, MC 3020, Phoenix, AZ 85004, USA
2Phoenix Veterans Affairs Health Care System, 650 E. Indian School Road, Building 21, Room 147, Phoenix, AZ 85012, USA
3Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Maricopa Integrated Health System, 2525 East Roosevelt Street, Phoenix, AZ 85008, USA

Received 17 October 2012; Accepted 9 January 2013

Academic Editor: Nangel M. Lindberg

Copyright © 2013 Colleen Keller et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Background. Weight gain during the childbearing years and failure to lose pregnancy weight after birth contribute to the development of obesity in Latinas. Design and Methods. Madres para la Salud (Mothers for Health) is a 12-month prospective, randomized controlled trial exploring a social support intervention with moderate-intensity physical activity to effect changes in body fat, systemic and fat tissue inflammation, and depression symptoms in sedentary postpartum Latinas. This paper describes the initial body composition of the sample, social support, and neighborhood contextual correlations of overweight and obese Latina mothers within the first 6 months after birth. Results. The mean body mass index was 29.68 with 38.56% bioelectrical impedence analysis for body fat. Elements of the environment (e.g., opportunities to walk) received middle or high scores. Access to healthy food was positively related to favorability of the walking environment. Waist-to-hip ratio was uncorrelated with other obesity-related indices. Conclusions. The body adiposity of these Latina mothers was coupled with low levels of social support from family and friends and neighborhood characteristics that were unfavorable to walking.