A Gender- and Culturally Sensitive Weight Loss Intervention for Hispanic Men: Results From the Animo Pilot Randomized Controlled Trial

David O. Garcia, Luis A. Valdez, Benjamin Aceves, Melanie L Bell, Kyle Humphrey, Melanie D Hingle, Marylyn M Mcewen, Steven P. Hooker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Background. Hispanic males have the highest rates of overweight and obesity compared with men of all other racial/ethnic groups. While weight loss can significantly reduce obesity-related health risks, there is limited research examining effective gender- and culturally tailored behavioral weight loss programs for Hispanic men. Objective. To assess the feasibility and preliminary efficacy of a 12-week gender- and culturally sensitive weight loss intervention (GCSWLI) as compared with a waist-list control (WLC) in sedentary, Hispanic males with overweight/obesity. Method. Fifty Hispanic males (age: 43 years [SD = 11]; BMI: 34 ± 5 kg/m2; 58% Spanish monolingual) were randomized to one of two groups: GCSWLI (n = 25) or WLC (n = 25). GCSWLI participants attended weekly in-person individual sessions with a bilingual, bicultural Hispanic male lifestyle coach, and were prescribed a daily reduced calorie goal and 225 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity per week. The WLC were asked to maintain their usual diet and physical activity habits for 12 weeks. GCSWLI participants continued with 12 additional weeks of follow-up including biweekly phone calls with lifestyle coaches. Results. At Week 12, the mean weight loss in the GCSWLI was −6.3 kg (95% confidence interval [CI; −8.1, −4.4]) compared with −0.8 kg (95% CI [−2.5, 0.9]) for the WLC (difference = −5.5 kg, 95% CI [−8.0, −2.9], p <.01). At Week 24, weight loss in the GCSWLI was maintained. Conclusions. The GCSWLI appears to be a feasible strategy to engage Hispanic males in short-term weight loss. Our pilot study indicates preliminary evidence of efficacy, though confirmation of these findings is needed in a larger study.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalHealth Education and Behavior
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2019



  • gender
  • Hispanics
  • obesity
  • overweight
  • weight loss

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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