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  • Author: Sonia Vega-López x
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Carla L. Dellaserra, Noe C. Crespo, Michael Todd, Jennifer Huberty and Sonia Vega-López

Background: The association between acculturation and physical activity (PA) among Mexican American (MA) adults is not understood. This study assessed potential mediating factors that may explain these associations among 75 healthy MA adults [age: 37.5 (9.3) y; 65.3% female]. Methods: Secondary data analysis using hierarchical logistic regression examined whether perceived environmental barriers, social support, and intention to exercise potentially mediated relationships between acculturation level, and total and leisure-time moderate to vigorous PA (MVPA). Data were collected via questionnaire. Results: Most participants (67%) reported lower average household monthly incomes ($0–$3000), completed some college or obtained a college degree (64.4%), and were first generation immigrants (59%). Acculturation was associated with greater odds of engaging in total MVPA [odds ratio (OR) = 1.7; 95% confidence interval (CI), 1.2–2.4] and leisure-time MVPA (OR = 1.6; 95% CI, 1.1–1.2). Perceived environmental barriers were associated with greater odds of engaging in both total and leisure-time MVPA (OR = 4.3; 95% CI, 2.1–5.8 and OR = 5.5; 95% CI, 2.0–7.0, respectively), and social support was associated with greater odds for total MVPA (OR = 3.7; 95% CI, 1.1–6.4). Conclusions: Results provide preliminary evidence for mediating factors that may explain the relationship between acculturation level and PA among MA adults. Contradicting prior evidence, results suggest that PA engagement, despite perceived environmental barriers, is possible among MA adults having stronger social support.

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Sonia Vega-López, Giselle A.P. Pignotti, Colleen Keller, Michael Todd, Barbara Ainsworth, Allison Nagle Williams, Kathie Records, Dean Coonrod and Paska Permana


The effects of moderate intensity walking on lipoprotein remodeling in postpartum Hispanic women are unknown.


Sedentary postpartum Hispanic women (28.2 ± 5.6 y; BMI = 29.3 ± 3.3 kg/m2) participating in a social support physical activity (PA) intervention, were randomly assigned to a 12-month walking program (walkers; n = 22; target 150 min/wk, moderate intensity) or a control group (nonwalkers; n = 22). Fasting lipids and cholesterol distribution within low-density lipoprotein (LDL) and high-density lipoprotein (HDL) particles were measured at baseline (BL), 6 months, and 12 months.


Walkers had an 11% increase and nonwalkers a 7% decrease in HDL cholesterol from 6 to 12 months (P = .0367) without an effect on LDL cholesterol. Whereas nonwalkers had virtually no change in mean LDL particle size, walkers had a borderline reduction in LDL size from BL (268.7 ± 4.1 Å) to 6 months (266.9 ± 4.9 Å), followed by a significant increase in size by 12 months (269.7 ± 4.1 Å; P = .011). The proportion of cholesterol in large LDL particles decreased by 15% from BL to 6 months, but subsequently increased 25% by 12 months among walkers; changes among nonwalkers were smaller and in opposite direction (4% and –3%, respectively; P = .0004).


Participation in the social-support PA intervention resulted in slightly increased HDL cholesterol concentrations and a modest and beneficial shift toward larger, less atherogenic LDL particles.