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Proyecto Mama: a lifestyle intervention in overweight and obese Hispanic women: a randomised controlled trial--study protocol
Open Access Articles
  • Lisa Chasan-Taber, University of Massachusetts Amherst
  • Bess H. Marcus, University of California San Diego
  • Milagros C. Rosal, University of Massachusetts Medical School
  • Katherine L. Tucker, University of Massachusetts Lowell
  • Sheri J. Hartman, University of California - San Diego
  • Penelope S. Pekow, University of Massachusetts - Amherst
  • Edward J. Stanek III, University of Massachusetts Amherst
  • Barry Braun, University of Massachusetts Amherst
  • Caren G. Solomon, Harvard Medical School
  • JoAnne Manson, Harvard Medical School
  • Sarah L. Goff, Baystate Medical Center
  • Glenn Markenson, Baystate Medical Center
UMMS Affiliation
Division of Preventive and Behavioral Medicine, Department of Medicine; UMass Worcester Prevention Research Center
Publication Date
Document Type

BACKGROUND: The proportion of women entering pregnancy overweight or obese has been rising and, in turn, is associated with adverse maternal and fetal outcomes. Gestational weight gain (GWG) exceeding Institute of Medicine (IOM) guidelines further increases health risks and has been independently associated with postpartum weight retention. Hispanic women are disproportionately affected by overweight and obesity, but have had limited access to interventions that promote healthy lifestyles due to cultural, socioeconomic, and language barriers. Therefore, the overall goal of this randomized controlled trial is to test the efficacy of a culturally and linguistically modified, individually-tailored lifestyle intervention to reduce excess GWG, increase postpartum weight loss, and improve maternal metabolic status among overweight/obese Hispanic women.

METHODS/DESIGN: Overweight/obese Hispanic women are recruited in early pregnancy and randomly assigned to a Lifestyle Intervention (n = 150) or a Comparison Health and Wellness (control) intervention (n = 150). Multimodal contacts (i.e., in-person, telephone counseling, and mailed print-based materials) are used to deliver the intervention from early pregnancy (12 weeks gestation) to 6 months postpartum, with follow-up to 1 year postpartum. Targets of the intervention are to achieve IOM Guidelines for GWG and postpartum weight loss; American Congress of Obstetrician and Gynecologist guidelines for physical activity; and American Diabetes Association guidelines for diet. The intervention draws from Social Cognitive Theory and the Transtheoretical Model and includes strategies to address the specific social, cultural, and economic challenges faced by low-income Hispanic women. Assessments are conducted at baseline (~10 weeks gestation), mid pregnancy (24-28 weeks gestation), late pregnancy (32-34 weeks gestation) and postpartum at 6-weeks, 6-months, and 12-months by bicultural and bilingual personnel blinded to the intervention arm. Efficacy is assessed via GWG, postpartum weight loss, and biomarkers of glycemic control, insulin resistance, and cardiovascular disease risk factors. Changes in physical activity and diet are measured via 7-day accelerometer data and 24-h dietary recalls at each assessment time period.

DISCUSSION: Hispanic women are the fastest growing minority group in the U.S. and are disproportionately affected by overweight and obesity. This randomised trial uses a high-reach, low-cost strategy that can readily be translated into clinical practice in underserved and minority populations.

TRIAL REGISTRATION: NCT01868230 May 29, 2013.

  • Lifestyle intervention,
  • Randomised controlled trial,
  • Healthy eating,
  • Prevention,
  • Diet,
  • Latina,
  • Physical activity,
  • Postpartum,
  • Pregnancy,
  • Gestational diabetes mellitus,
  • Overweight,
  • Obesity
Rights and Permissions

Copyright © Chasan-Taber et al. 2015. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly credited. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.

DOI of Published Version
BMC Pregnancy Childbirth. 2015 Jul 30;15:157. doi: 10.1186/s12884-015-0575-3. Link to article on publisher's site
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Link to Article in PubMed
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Creative Commons License
Creative Commons Attribution 4.0
Citation Information
Lisa Chasan-Taber, Bess H. Marcus, Milagros C. Rosal, Katherine L. Tucker, et al.. "Proyecto Mama: a lifestyle intervention in overweight and obese Hispanic women: a randomised controlled trial--study protocol" Vol. 15 (2015) ISSN: 1471-2393 (Linking)
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