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Diabetes Educ. 2012 Jul-Aug;38(4):504-12. doi: 10.1177/0145721712446635. Epub 2012 May 14.

Effects of a culturally grounded community-based diabetes prevention program for obese Latino adolescents.

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  • 1Arizona State University, College of Nursing and Health Innovation, Phoenix, Arizona 85004, USA.



The purpose of this study was to test the feasibility and preliminary effects of a culturally grounded, community-based diabetes prevention program among obese Latino adolescents.


Fifteen obese Latino adolescents (body mass index [BMI] percentile = 96.3 ± 1.1, age = 15.0 ± 0.9 years) completed a 12-week intervention that included weekly lifestyle education classes delivered by bilingual/bicultural promotoras and three, 60-minute physical activity sessions per week. Participants were assessed for anthropometrics (height, weight, BMI, and waist circumference), cardiorespiratory fitness, physical activity/inactivity, nutrition behaviors, and insulin sensitivity and glucose tolerance by a 2-hour oral glucose tolerance test.


The intervention resulted in significant decreases in BMI z score, BMI percentile, and waist circumference; increases in cardiorespiratory fitness; and decreases in physical inactivity and dietary fat consumption. In addition to these changes, the intervention led to significant improvements in insulin sensitivity and reductions in 2-hour glucose levels.


These results support the feasibility and efficacy of a community-based diabetes prevention program for high-risk Latino youth. Translational approaches that are both culturally grounded and biologically meaningful represent a novel and innovative strategy for closing the obesity-related health disparities gap.

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